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739 

Paint Questions 

Answered 



A REFERENCE ENCYCLOPEDIA ANSWERING KNOTTY PROBLEMS 

THAT CONFRONT THE PAINTER, DECORATOR, 

AND PAINT MANUFACTURER IN 

THEIR EVERYDAY WORK 

WITH COMPLETE TOPICAL INDEX 



TTbe. painters /ftaeasine 

Hew Vorfi 



Ube Uvi^c papers publiebing Co, %tb, 
Xonbon, VS. C. Bn0lan& 



Copyright 1904 

by 

The Painters Magazine 
Entered at Stationers Hall 



Printed by 

John G. Ropes & Co. 

255 Pearl St. 

Now York, N. Y., U. S. A. 



Q 



PREFACE. 

For several years past, one of the most valuable features of The 
Painters Magazine has been its department of Questions Answered, 
to which its subscribers have been invited and encouraged to send 
the various knotty problems and difficulties that they have met with 
in their daily business. No effort nor expense has been spared to 
answer every question submitted, and to supply the subscribers with 
thoroughly up-to-date and practical information based on present day 
American usage. The fact that questions have been received from 
every part of the Uuited States and Canada, as well as from many 
other parts of the globe where the English language is spoken, shows 
how fully this feature of The Painters Magazine has been appreci- 
ated. 

We haye long believed that these practical answers to actual ques- 
^ tions on almost every paint topic would become still more valuable 

to the progressive craftsmen if they were gathered together in such 
form that they might be always at hand, ready for reference ; and the 
present volume, in which 739 of them are gathered together, is the 
outcome of that belief. 

In reprinting the Questions answered from The Painters Magazine 
we have omitted the initials and location of the questioners, and in- 
stead of reprinting their letters, we ha^e stated concisely the condi- 
tions of the particular case concerning which information was re- 
quested, or have summarized it in the title of the paragraph or section. 

The index, which will be found at the end of the book, has been 
made very complete, so that any particular subject may be readily 
found. We would suggest, in looking up any special information 
wanted, that all the paragraphs referred to in the index should be 
consulted. 

It is hoped that this book will meet with the approval of the craft 
at large, and it is hereby dedicated to the painters and decorators 
throughout the entire Country. 

The publishers would esteem it a favor if any of the readers would 
call their attention to any errors which may have crept into the book 
in order that they may be corrected in subsequent editions. The 
amount of detail involved in the preparation of this book is so great 
that we can scarcely dare hope that it is entirely free from errors, 
though we believe it to be as nearly correct in every particular as it 
is possible to make it. 

New York, 1904. 



158547 



739 

Paint Questions Answered 



Preparing Quick Drying Flake White for Striping. 

To make flake white flow freely from " the striping pencil, mix a 
few drops of a good, pale rubbing varnish with your flake white as it 
comes from the tube or can, and should it be very stiflf, thin with a few 
-drops of turps before adding the varnish. 

— 2 — 

Remedy for Clouded Effect of Stain and Varnish. 

To remove a cloudy and uneven effect on old furniture that has been 
cleaned off, stained and varnished, take powdered pumice and water, 
and with a piece of felt rub down the varnish until it becomes dead flat, 
then rinse with sponge and clear water and dry with chamois^ skin. 
Now glaze the furniture in oil or water and use the mottler to have 
the glaze good and uniform, and when thoroughly dry apply your var- 
nish, but not before you have tried it on a small piece. Your stain 
probably dried too rapidly in the first place, therefore the clouded 
effect. 

— 3 — 
Madder Lakes and Alizarine Lakes. 

The madder plant, 'vyhich was extensively cultivated in Greece, Hol- 
land and the south of France up to 25 years ago, and from whose glu- 
cosides the coloring matter of madder lake was derived, has given 
way to the coloring matter artificially manufactured from the anthra- 
cene of coal tar, the chief coloring matter, alizarine and purpurin, 
being present in both the madder plant and in coal tar. Without 
going into the details of their manufacture, we can safely say, on the 
basis of tests made by reliable parties, extending upwards of ten years, 
that alizarine lake, well made, is superior in point of brilliancy and per- 
manency to true madder lake, especially when used as an oil color, or 
when protected by varnish. We know of several cases where alizarine 
red lake has stood exposure to strong light for nearly 10 years without 
any other change than that brought about by the bleaching of the oil. 
Though not originally as brilliant as French carmine, it will outlast 
the latter four to one in point of stability of color. 



6 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 4 — 

Filling in of Cracks in Plastered Walls. 

Trouble occurred in repainting an old plastered wall, the filled-in 
cracks showing much darker than the rest of the surface. From the 
statement of the painter it appeared that he had simply cut out the 
cracks and filled them with a plaster of paris putty without, however, 
taking the precaution to stop the suction in the new plaster, with 
which the cracks were filled. While it is perfectly proper to fill in cut- 
out cracks in old walls with plaster, which is mixed with a thin glue 
size, the plaster should, as soon as it becomes hard, be coated with 
white shellac varnish, or better still, fill in the shrinkage with hard 
glazier's putty (previously mixed with some dry lead and a trifle of 
good japan). This dry, sandpaper down to the level of the wall and 
coat the putty with paint of the color that is on the wall. Should 
one coat dry too flat, give another, and if necessary, still another, until 
the filled-in portions match the old effect. When this is done there 
will be no absorption, and ponsequently the old cracks will not show 
through after repainting. We do not think that the cause of the 
trouble was either in the plaster or in the paint, for in that case defects 
should have been found on the rest of the surface. 

— 5 — 

Oak Graining Over White Paint. 

In the case of some oak graining over white paint the graining color 
and varnish scaled off. It was required to do the work over, without 
going to the expense of burning off, and yet avoid the same trouble 
of scaling oflF to the ground coat. 

What is wanted is to know how to get the whole thing off, new 
varnish and graining coat and the old paint, in the quickest and cheap- 
est way other than burning off. In other words, what is required is a 
good, cheap formula for a paint remover. Well, there are a good 
many — some of them are good and some not so good. We will give 
you some good ones. They are, any and all of them, very easily made 
and will cost you but a very few pennies per pound to make. 

Take of pure caustic soda, that would be 98 per cent, goods, a pound. 
Dissolve that in two pounds of warm water. The warmer the water 
the quicker it will dissolve. While this is dissolving, mix in another 
receptacle two ounces of common starch, preferably corn starch, and 
two ounces of china clay with two pounds of cold water. Add the 
water a little at a time, not all at once. 

When the soda solution gets cold mix the two together, and stir till 
they come to a smooth paste. 

Apply this to the paint surface to be removed, spread it on rather 
thick ; that is, smear the surface well over with the paste. Let it re- 
main a few minutes, till it has done its work. You can easily see by a 
trifling examination when the paint is well loosened. Then it can all 
be removed with a scraper, putty-knife or an old brush. Clean off to 
the wood, and after you have scraped it well to get all the paste out, it 
will be best to wash it off with clean water. If there is still any evi- 
dence of the paste left (this will be shown by the soapy taste or feel to 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 7 

the fingers) it will be best to wash the surface in weak vinegar. Sim- 
ply take a little vinegar and water, and with a cloth wash over the 
surface and dry it. This is not likely to be necessary, if you have 
properly handled the paste. 

Another remover is made by making a strong caustic soda solution, 
as in the previous case. Mix this to a brushing paste with terra-alba, 
or for that matter whiting will do as well. Spread this over the sur- 
face to be removed and let it dry there. Then wash off with hot water. 
Still another is made in this way: Dissolve eight pounds of caustic 
soda in five gallons of water. Best to use hot water, as stated in the 
above. Take ten pounds of whiting and make it into a very stiff paste 
with cold water, .add to this about four gallons of the caustic soda 
solution. Mix in another receptacle two and a half pounds of potato 
.starch with a little water, just enough to make a paste of it. Add this 
to the other and mix well. Don't add hot water to the starch. Use 
cold water only. After this is mixed it is made much better by run- 
ning through a paint mill. You will find this makes a good remover. 

To make a liquid remover, take a quart of the caustic soda solution 
in the formula just given and add to it four gallons of water. That 
will take off almost anything. 

Another liquid remover is made by taking three pounds of con- 
centrated lye (potash) and dissolving it in twelve pounds of water 
and adding to this two pounds of acetate (gray) of lime. Boil these 
gently and let settle and pour off the clear supernatent liquor. 

Any of those given will answer the purpose for which they are in- 
tended. When your old paint, etc., is off, go to work building up the 
ground coat for graining. Keep your ground flat and you will have 
no trouble. It is very likely that the trouble in the old job was due 
to the graining being put on over old paint, which might have 
been a little greasy, as is usually the case with old paint on the in- 
side of a house. It may not have seemed greasy, but it might have 
been so nevertheless, and if the graining color was water ground, 
which is very likely to have been the case, you at once see where all 
that trouble came from. The graining color dried on that surface 
which was very slightly oily or greasy. Then came the varnish coat, 
which pulled the distemper coat off the ground — rather, off the oily or 
greasy surface. 

— 6 — 

Amount of Thinners Required for White Lead Paint and Zinc 

White Paint for Exterior Use. 

The general consensus of opinion among practical painters of our 
acquaintance is that 100 lbs. of strictly pure white lead in oil should 
be of proper consistency for the finishing coat when thinned with 4f 
gallons raw linseed oil and J gallon liquid drier^ and that 100 lbs. of 
strictly pure zinc white in oil is of the right consistency for finishing 
when thinned with 7J gallons raw Unseed oil and i gallon liquid drier, 
the percentage of drier to be changed in each case, according to the 
conditions of atmosphere and temperature. 




8 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

Painting on Cement Surfaces. 

We do not know how long a cemented surface should stand exposed 
before it is safe to paint on, as it depends very much on the quality of 
the cement. It is safe to say that after it has stood for a year, there 
will be no risk of paint being thrown off, provided the surface is well 
washed and rinsed with clear water and allowed to dry. 

For comparatively fresh cemented surface the sulphuric acid treat- 
ment is safest and best. To one gallon of water take 12 fluid ounces 
of oil of vitriol and wash the surface with this solution. This treat- 
ment will turn any excess of lime in the cement into sulphate of lime 
and give a uniformly absorbent surface to paint upon. If the surface 
has been made and exposed for a month or so, a wash made by dissolv- 
ing four ounces of bicarbonate of ammonia in two gallons of water 
will be found more efficient than the dilute sulphuric acid wash, and 
the surface may be primed as soon as it has become dry. 

As to the mixing and thinning of the paint for the various coats, we 
should suggest a similar treatment as is usual for preparing paint for 
plastered walls ; that is, an oily priming in all cases, succeeding coats 
depending on the finish desired, flat or glossy. 

— 8 — 

Enamel Paint on Cement Surfaces. 

Enamel paint should not be applied direct to cement surface, but 
should be treated same as a plaster will, for reasons of economy and 
durability. We do not know of any enamel preparation that will 
stand the action of cement, when the surface is not treated as above 
stated. 

— 9 — 

Testing Turpentine for Purity. 

The very simplest method is to draw a small portion of the suspected 
article into a clean vessel and place a drop thereof on a clean piece of 
white paper (letter file paper is best) and watch for the disappearance 
of the spot made by the drop. Unless the spot has disappeared com- 
pletely and the paper assumed its original condition within five or 
six minutes the turpentine is either adulterated with mineral oil or it 
is fatty to such an extent that it is unfit for the use of the coach painter 
or for inside )vork. If there be a decided grease spot, that will not 
disappear in 10 to 15 minutes, admixture with mineral oil may be taken 
for granted. 

It would be well for the -purchaser of large quantities of turpentine 
to provide himself with a Baume hydrometer for testing turps, a hydro- 
meter jar and a thermometer, when he can fill the jar with turps, bring 
the same to a temperature of 60 deg. F., insert the hydrometer, and if 
the goods be pure the specific gravity indicated must not be less than 
0.863 "or more, than 0.866, the exact specific gravity of American 
spirits of turpentine being 0.8643 ^^ that temperature, and the weight 
of a United States standard gallon 7 lbs. 3^ ounces, though the com- 
mercial custom makes 7 lbs. equal one gallon of turpentine. 



rS9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. g 

Removing Dust, Dirt and Smoke from Painted Ceilings and Walls. 

Make very liberal use of dust brush, sponge, brush, soap and water 
and last, but not least, elbow-grease. 

Harmony in Graining in Maple. 

If you wish to go to the trouble of graining the beads in the casings 
in a room that is to be grained in maple, dark cherry will do very well, 
but if you simply wish to paint the beads to produce a harmonious ef- 
fect with the graining in maple, we should advise you to use a silver 
gray tint' or an ivory tint, made with raw sienna, or a subdued tint of 
■old rose. A very pretty effect can be had by bronzing the beads with 
aluminum or gold. 

12 — 

Most Permanent Black. 
Real ivory black resists strong light permanently. 

— 13 — 

Removing Paint from Hardwood Furniture. 

Try a mixture o£ two parts of aqua ammonia of- 18 deg. and one 
-part spirits of turpentine, which will soften the paint so that it can be 
removed with the spatula or scraper. However, you must be careful 
not to dig into the wood, but rather make several applications of the 
mixture, and finally use a stiff brush to remove the paint from the 
grain of the wood. The ^turpentine in the mixture prevents the am- 
monia from raising the wood fibre. When every particle of paint is 
removed, wash the surface once more with clear turps and allow to 
dry thoroughly before attempting the usual finishing process. 

— 14 — 

White Spots on Varnished Surfaces. 

When varnish contains very little oil, or when made from inferior 
material or when it is made, as a prominent chemist and varnish maker 
puts it, from resinate of lime only, then it will always show this unde- 
sirable effect. 

— 15 — 
Composition of Flesh Color. 

Flesh color is usually made by mixing French ochre and English 
vermilion, but the principal requisites are that the painter has the nec- 
essary talent to paint faces. 

— 16 — 

Durable Paint for the Interior of Iron Storage Tanks for Turpentine. 

We should say that any paint which is composed of a medium that 
is insoluble in turpentine and not softened by the contact with tur- 
pentine, and which will adhere to the iron, would keep the liquid from 
becoming discolored. Shellac varnish would, most likely, suit best, 
•especially if mixed with a colorless pigment. 



lo 72^ PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

_i7_ 
Testing the Purity of Gold Leaf. 

Put a few drops of nitric acid upon a piece of glass and place thereon 
a small piece of the leaf. Pure gold leaf will not be affected by the 
acid, while other metals that may be mixed with it will go into solu- 
tion. A small percentage of copper is usually present in the best gold 
leaf, not as an adulterant, but in order to make it more workable. 

— 18 — 
Removing Varnish from Old Oil Paintings on Canvas. 

Under no condition must ammonia, no matter how much diluted, 
be employed. Dust off the picture carefully, then wash with luke- 
warm water, then make a stiff lather from shaving soap, which is 
applied over the whole painting in a thick layer. Allow this to remain 
for about ten minutes, then wash off the lather with a stiff brush, rinse 
with clean water and wipe with chamois skin. When thoroughly dry, 
dip a clean linen rag into nitro-benzol and go over the painting several 
times, always using a clean piece of the cloth for every new applica- 
tion, until the cloth remains clean. Then give the painting a thin coat 
of pure olive oil, and after a time a coat of good pale varnish. 

— 19 — 
Finishing Bowling Alleys. 

While our experience in this line is rather limited, we know of several 
bowling alleys recently put up in the basements of club houses, the 
beds of which were made of hard maple 4 inches by i^ inches, laid 
in cement, edges up, the boards first oiled and firmly nailed together, 
the surface planed and smooth sandpapered. Then a coat of hot, 
boiled linseed oil was given, which, when well absorbed, was followed 
by an oil and wax finish, made by melting one pound of yellow bees- 
wax and adding thereto one gallon boiled linseed oil and one quart 
spirits of turpentine, well rubbed in with a stiff floor brush and pol- 
ished with soft felt and rotten stone. The side panels and other wood- 
work were finished in the usual manner in natural wood. 

— 20 — 

Preparing Canvas or Muslin for Photographers' Background. 

Select close grained muslin and tack on to frame. Do not 
stretch too tight, as the muslin will shrink when sized. Apply one or 
two coats of a size made as follows: One pound ordinary gelatine is 
dissolved in two gallons of water, and to this one-quarter pound mo- 
lasses and one-half pound bolted whiting is added, thoroughly stirred 
and strained through cheese cloth, while warm. When dry, smooth 
sandpaper, if necessary. The distemper color should be prepared as 
follows: Mix two pounds of bolted English cliffstone paris white in 
two quarts of cold water, making a fine, smooth paste ; add to this a 
few ounces of ultramarine blue, ground in water, stirring it in thor- 
oughly: then add a few ounces of lampblack, also ground in water 
(distemper color), or as much as is necessary to produce desired tint 



729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. n 

(which can be tested by slow drying) ; then add one and a half ounces 
of good white glue, that has been previously dissolved in warm water, 
and strain the mass through straining muslin. If the distemper tint 
should set too quickly reduce the percentage of glue or add a trifle glu- 
cose syrup. 

— 21 — 

Painting Plastered Brick Walls. 

It was required to paint a house that had been built twenty years, 
the exterior of which was veneered with brick and coated with lime 
plaster, making a mastic finish. It had been first washed with lime and 
water, then with lime and cement, neither of which gave satisfaction, 
because nearly all came off. To give advice it is necessary to know 
how solidly the plaster adheres and how heavy the coating is. If the 
plaster is still solid on the brick, the penetrating linseed oil would not 
loosen it, as brick is very absorbent, and if the oil penetrated deep 
enough it would act rather as a binder than a remover. It would be 
well to ask the owner's permission to let you try a patch with 
linseed oil in an out of the way corner. We have coated a similar sur- 
face to the one described with white lead and linseed oil paint, and 
have had the best of results. It was done two years ago on the north 
side of a building, and we first broomed all the loose wash off, then 
rinsed the wall with water, and before it was quite dry put on the 
priming coat. If the owner is obstinate and will not have any oil 
color used, and you do not care to lose the job, then try one of those 
washable distemper paints for outside work that are so largely ad- 
vertised under various names, or prepare a wash on the following 
plan : Slake in a large barrel half a bushel of fresh burnt lime, cover 
while slaking to keep in the steam. When nearly cool, strain the liquid 
through a fine sieve and add seven pounds common salt, previously 
dissolved in hot water. Cook three pounds ground rice in water to a 
thin, creamy paste, and stir into the liquid while hot. Now mix 
half a pound of bolted paris white in water and add it also. One 
pound of pale blue is soaked in water over night, then boiled in the 
usual water bath and thinned with five gallons boiling hot water, all 
of which is added to the liquid in the barrel, which is allowed to stand 
well covered for a few days. This wash is applied as hot as possible, 
kept in a kettle on a portable furnace during the operation. It is 
weatherproof and washable and will stand many years. May be tinted 
with limeproof colors, such as ochre, ultramarine blue, drop black, etc. 

22 

Effect of Freezing on Fresh Oil Paint. 

As linseed oil does not actually freeze unless the temperature 
is less than i8 deg. F. below zero, and as exterior house painting 
is not carried on in such frigid weather, there can be no actual 
injury to paint in freezing weather, excepting that the drying of 
the fresh paint is retarded. As a matter of course, another coat of 
paint should not be applied until the previous one is thoroughly dry, 
which, under the conditions named, may require weeks to become 
hard enough. A moderate use of turps will accelerate the drying 



12 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

and hardening of the paint in Winter weather, and 75 per cent, boiled 
linseed oil and 25 per cent, turps is the proper proportion for the 
under coats, while for the finishing coat the turps should be cut down 
to from 10 to 15 per cent. Another safeguard is to hold the paint 
medium thin and brush it out to the utmost. 

— 23 — 
Turpentine in Linseed Oil Paints. 

The painter can do a much neater job in exterior house paint- 
ing by a moderate use of turpentine, because it will allow the paint 
to lie down closer to the surface and level itself more uniformly, pro- 
<lucing a sort of linseed oil varnish effect. The painter must exercise 
his judgment, as conditions of surface and the state of the weather 
have considerable bearing upon the amount of turps that can safely 
bo ejnployed. When the lumber is soft and spongy no turps should 
be used in the priming coat, but for hard and close grained wood, raw 
linseed oil, four-fifths, and one-fifth of turps is better than all boiled 
oil. (Jur experience teaches us that for priming new work boiled oil 
is a failure, because boiled oil is really a varnish without gum or 
resin — that is, when properly boiled, otherwise it would be no good at 
all, anyway. Good kettle boiled linseed oil may safely be employed 
with anywhere from 5 to 10 per cent, of turpentine in finishing coats, 
and the binding properties or durability will not be injured by such 
portion of turpentine. 

Chemical tests and experience have demonstrated that a paint film 
from good boiled oil and turpentine, 90 parts of the former to 10 parts 
of the litter, is less porous when dry than a paint film from linseed 
oil, raw or boiled, alone. It would be idle for us to give any set rules 
for the proper proportions of linseed oil, turps and driers, and we must 
leave this to the judgment of the painter, who will vary the propor- 
tions according to the nature of the pigment employed, and it stands 
lo reason that burnt umber, for instance, does not require over one- 
fourth as much drier as lampblack or vandyke brown. In whatever 
paint a large portion of liquid driers are employed, turps must be 
omitted entirely or correspondingly reduced. 

-a4- 
Preparation of Liquid Glue. 

Two. ounces borax are dissolved in one gill of boiling hot water, 
and while this is kept boiling, one ounce calcined potash is added ; 
this solution is then stirred into a boiling solution of one pound animal 
glue and one quart of water. If too heavy, it may be thinned with 
hot water. Will not sour or mold. 

— as- 
Painting Exposed Plaster Figures. 

Some stucco figures for the facade of a suburban house were given 
three coats hot boiled linseed oil before being placed in position. The 
stucco was perfectly dry and hard, but the oil came oflF in shreds, al- 
though the facade was not afterward painted. 



r39 PAfNT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. ij 

To coat articles of plaster three times with hot boiled oil is rather 
barbarous treatment, and it is not surprising that the plaster figures 
rebel and shed their skin. If you have that kind of work again give 
only one coat of three parts oil and one part turpentine, and when 
this is well dried give another coat, but only one coat, of half-flat 
paint or color. You must remember, however, that there is no paint 
of any kind that will stand or wear for any great length of time on 
exposec;! plaster paris stucco. 

— 26 — 

- Blistering of Paint on New Floors. 

All the floors of a large new house were painted in November. The 
first and third story were leased out, but the second story was not oc- 
cupied or heated. The floors of the tenanted rooms, three months later, 
were in good condition, while that of the unoccupied part was full of 
blisters and could be scraped oflF with a putty knife, although all the 
paint came out of the same package. 

If the builder had given the whole house a good warming the blis- 
tering of the paint would not have taken place. In the first place the 
rapid putting up of new buildings, the false economy of not heating 
new houses thoroughly and uniformly and the poorly seasoned lum- 
ber employed all tend toward the same end. The tenanted portions 
are heated and the expelled moisture is confined to the unoccupied 
portions. Result: A swelling of the sashes, warping of doors. Wall 
paper and stucco become moldy, and in the paint on floors blisters con- 
taining water form. Moisture must find its way out somehow, and no* 
sensible person can hold you responsible for the results mentioned. 

— 27 — 
Transparent Liquid Wood Filler. 

Manufacturers of good wood fillers are not in the habit of publish- 
ing formulas that have been perfected after continued studies and 
experiment, aside from tJie cost of these. For this reason we cannot 
give any formula that we can vouch for, and would refer you to- 
Grinneirs Hand Book on Painting, where the following recipe is given 
on page 135: Pale rosin, 2 pounds; boiled oil, i gallon; japan, i pint. 
Melt the rosin in the oil, take the kettle outside, add the japan and 
half gallon of turpentine ; stir and when cold add one-half pound corn 
starch. Thin with turpentine until workable. Run through a paint 
mill or a fine strainer. 

We would add to the above that in place of turpentine you may 

add benzine, but that, unless you are well posted and very careful, 

it may be dear to you at any price to experiment in that line, and that 

we should advise you to buy your filler from a manufacturer, which 

course may be much cheaper to you in the end. 
f 

— 28 — 

Cheapening of Paint Material. 

There are various ways of reducing the cost of paint, but it is a 
most difficult matter to reduce the cost to one-half, when linseed oil 



14 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

costs 60 cents a gallon, and yet have a good wearing paint, as the 
lasting qualities of paint depend almost wholly upon the nature of the 
binder; and on that account we shall not advise the use of mineral 
or rosin oils. As dilutants or extenders (cheapeners) of paints, we have 
barytes, whiting, silica or silex, china clay or kaolin and gypsum. Of 
these barytes absorbs the smallest percentage, kaolin the largest por- 
tion of oil, while the other three are equal in that respect. Barytes 
is really the best extender for white lead paint, because chemically 
inert. Too large a portion of whiting for exterior work tends to flak- 
ing, while large portions of silica or silex make the paint too porous, 
and even small percentages of clay are liable to produce blooming, 
while gypsum is very transparent in oil. A paint made from pure 
white lead in oil at 6J cents per pound and raw linseed oil at 60 cents 
I^er gallon, or 8 cents per pound, in pure white, for finishing coat, will 
cost, exclusive of labor, $1.24 per gallon, or 7 cents per pound. When 
made from 75 parts pure white lead in oil at 6J cents and 25 parts pure 
American zinc white in oil (to correct possible chalking), also at 6J 
cents, and linseed oil as above, it will require a little more oil for 
spreading and the cost, exclusive of labor, will be $1.22 per gallon, 
or 7.1 cents per pound, this paint being a trifle lighter in gravity. 

A paint made from white lead in oil, to which 40 per cent, dry 
barytes at i\ cents per pound and 10 pei cent, dry bolted paris white 
at f cents per pound is added, thinned with raw linseed oil at 60 cents 
per gallon and the necessary dryer, will cost, exclusive of labor, 75 
cents per gallon, or 5.15 cents per pound. But this paint will not cover 
as well, when rubbed out, as the pure white lead and oil paint, there- 
fore it must be used stouter. 

— 29 — 

Oak Graining Color That May be Rubbed. 

To prepare oak graining color so that it may be rubbed it should be 
thinned with turpentine only and then some good rubbing varnish 
added, say one tablespoonful to one-half pint of the prepared color. 

— 30 — 

Cheap Black Dip for Stovepipe. 

Take one part, by weight, of drop black in japan, break up with 
one part black japan, and thin with eight or more parts of turpentine. 
This will dry in one hour hard and when rubbed with a dry rag will 
have a soft polish. If this is too expensive, substitute benzine for tur- 
pentine, but in that case make up no more at any one time than what 
can be used that day. 

— 31 — 

Removing Grease Spots from Marble. 

If the spots are fresh, rub over them with a piece of cloth that has 
been dipped into pulverized china clay, repeating the operation sev- 
eral times, and then brush with soap and water. When the spots are 
old brush with distilled water and finest French plaster energetically. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. .15 

then bleach with chloride of lime that is put on a piece of white cloth. 
If the piece of marble be small enough to admit of doing so, soak it for 
a few hours in refined benzine. 

— 32 — 

Cheap Binder for Distemper Painting. 

Dissolve in the usual manner one-half pound white sheet glue in 
one gallon of water, to which add one-half pound crystal alum pre- 
viously dissolved in hot water and one-half pound white ivory soap 
that has been cut into thin strips and also dissolved in hot water. Mix 
all and boil until it becomes a thin, syruplike mass that is perfectly 
free from lumps. 

— 33 — 

Cement or Putty for Aquariums. 

The simplest recipe that we know of is to mix fine litharge with re- 
fined glycerine to the consistency of soft putty. This becomes as hard 
as stone, and will not crumble. 

Another good cement is made by mixing waterglass 33 deg. with 
zinc white or paris white. 

— 34 — 

How to Make Fireproof Paint 

Grind 7 pounds of zinc white and 3 pounds of air-slaked lime in one 
quart of fat linseed oil, then add one quart of waterglass of 33 deg., 
and stir into the mixture 5 pounds dry white lead and i pound sulphate 
of zinc. Thin with soft water to proper consistency and use imme- 
diately. 

— as- 
Crawling of Graining Colors in Distemper. 

The creeping or crawling may be caused by the ground being too 
oily or too hard ; also, to very cold atmosphere. If the addition of old 
ale or beer does not stop the creeping a moderate portion of beef gall 
with a few drops of spirits of hartshorn, onion juice and syrup of aloes 
may prevent it, when added to the color and well mixed in. Some- 
times the addition of a little lime water will prevent creeping. When 
all of these fail, especially on old, hard ground, use spirits of hartshorn 
or caustic soda lye in very minute portions with the color and there 
will be no creeping. We would, however, caution against the use 
of beef gall when the ground is not thoroughly dry and hard, because 
in that case the graining is very apt to crack immediately after the 
varnish becomes dry. 

-36 — 
Easy Method of Frosting Glass. 

Dissolve Rochelle salts in gum arable water and let it stand about 
12 hours. Clean the glass to be frosted well and lay it down flat, if 
convenient, and flow on the solution, so that it will not run. When 



i6 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

about to set take a pointed stick and dot it in rows about an inch or so 
apart. The solution may be colored with aniline dyes if desirable, and 
when dry flow on a thin coat of damar varnish. 

— ay- 
Cleaning Painted Surfaces. 

An excellent thing to advise as being most effective and least in- 
jurious to the paint, is soft water, good soap, soft brushes and cloth for 
doors, sills, etc., and water with a trifle of aqua ammonia for floors. 
Never suggest anything stronger, especially where you do the 
painting. Many housewives or their servants have a mania 
for cleaning, that goes to extremes in the selection of mediums. 
Soft soap containing strong alkalies, soap powders, overdoses 
o»f ammonia, the use of sand soap, or even fine sand, coarse, hard 
scrubbing brushes and coarse wiping cloth' are used with an energy 
worthy of a better cause, and then they wonder why paint does not 
stand or wear on floors and on doors, window frames and sash. The 
moderate use of soap or dilute ammonia, which is generally rinsed 
oflF again in short order, does no harm to the paint. It is the me- 
chanical friction of the brush, the coarseness of the cloth and the 
strong alkaline nature of the soap powders which does the harm. 

— 38 — 

Cheap Medium for Polishing Floors. 1 

Dissolve one-half pound commercial potash in two gallons rain wa- 
ter or soft water, then put one pound of yellow country beeswax into a 
pot, place the pot over a slow fire and inelt the wax with one pint of 
the potash solution. When the wax and water have united add the 
balance of the solution and heat, while continually stirring. When 
the mass appears like curdled milk take from the fire, and now more 
water can be added without fear of separation. May be applied to- 
floors with cloth or brush, but must be warmed up before using and 
well rubbed in to produce the wax finish. 

— 39 — 

Treating Kalsotnined Walls for Papering. 

If the kalvsomine is in good condition, hard and sound, an ordinary 
glue size is all that is needed ; give the walls a good coating and pro- 
ceed. If the kalsomine is old, disposed to crack or crumble, or, in other 
words, if it is not absolutely sound and in excellent condition, the thing^ 
to do, if you can't take it off, is to give the walls a soaking coat of good, 
strong size; further than that, be sure that the rooms and the walls 
are warm ; warm enough so that the size can and will strike clear 
through kalsomine and attach to the solid wall itself. That will make 
you safe. If, on the other hand, the walls are cold, they will chill the 
size before it gets into the wall and cause it to jell. Then when your 
paper goes on it looks very well at first, but soon the paper, size and 
part of the kalsomine come off, and stretch themselves out upon the 
floor, as provokingly as gnats in varnish. Another point that should 



729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 17 

always be kept in mind is that this size should never be put on in any 
other condition than hot, or good and warm. 

Your paste will likely hold better if you add a little Venice tur- 
pentine to each bucketful, say about an ounce of it dissolved in a lit- 
tle hot water, and then well stirred into the paste. 

The very best and safest way to paper over kalsomine is to take the 
kalsomine off the walls first ; it is the only way to do it and do it well, 
but we know that many times a man is not allowed to remove the 
kalsomine, when the price paid is considered. 

— 40 — 
Impregnation of Wood with Cement. 

This coating is used only on rough, unplaned timber, and only 
enough is prepared at one time that can be applied in thirty minutes. 
'J he mixture is made as follows: Ten pounds Portland cement, 20 
pounds fine, floated sand; 10 pounds fresh cottage cheese and one 
gallon buttermilk are intimately mixed, and it must be continually- 
stirred during application. Must not be laid on too stout, and as soon 
as first coat is dry a second coat should be given. Over this coating 
a good green color, ground in oil and thinned with boiled oil and a por- 
tion of varnish, may be applied, and it is asserted that wood so pro- 
tected will positively resist all influences of atmospheric changes and 
conditions and be fairly fire resisting. 

— 41 — 
Removing Mold from Wall Paper. 

A building papered in the fall and unoccupied during the winter 
showed mold on the wall paper in the first story, after it had been oc- 
cupied in the spring. 

The trouble appears to be due to dampness in the walls and the cold 
atmosphere. Dissolve one part of salicylic acid in four parts 95 per 
cent, alcohol and apply the solution by means of a soft sponge to the 
mold spots and you will find that they disappear immediately. To 
prevent further formation of mold the room should be well heated 
and ventikited ; or if this is impossible, then give the whole surface a 
light wash of this solution by daubing. 

— 42 — 

Killing Knots in Outdoor Work. 

In this country shellac varnish is generally employed for the pur- 
pose, and sometimes red lead is mixed with the shellac varnish. Thin 
glue size and red lead are also used, but wherever the sun has a good 
opportunity to get its work in the knots will show through and dis- 
color tints in short season. The very best method is to apply oil size 
to the knots and lay the leaf of silver or aluminum metal over it. Un- 
less the knot be very pitchy or sappy this will prevent exudation. 



i8 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 43 — 

To Avoid Varnish Cracking in Graining. 

The cracking of th^ varnish on outside grained doors may be due to 
inelastic varnish or to a ground that is too oily, or to the varnish being 
applied before the ground work and graining color is dry. Have your 
ground thoroughly dry, and do not hold your graining color too oily 
and give it ample time to harden before varnishing; then finish with a 
good elastic outdoor varnish and cracking will not occur, if the lumber 
be fairly well seasoned. 

— 44 — 

. Use of Boiled Oil. 

We do not especially advocate the use of boiled oil, but do believe 
that for slow drying pigments it is far better to use a pure kettle- 
boiled linseed oil than to use raw oil and dose it heavily with cheap 
Japan driers. It is a serious error to lay the reason for paint blistering 
lo boiled oil, because blistering is invariably brought home to mois- 
ture, and in kettle-boiled oil all moisture has been expelled. Of course 
the so-called bunghole boiled oil (a mixture of raw oil and cheap 
drier) may contain large portions of water. Gold size, which is really 
boiled oil, heavily charged with red lead and litharge, should not be 
added to oil colors that are good driers in themselves. 

— 45 — 

Paint for Iron Veranda Roofs. 

Dissolve two ounces of chloride of copper, two ounces nitrate of 
copper and two ounces sal ammoniac in one gallon of water ; then add 
two fluid ounces of crude hydrochloric acid. This solution must be 
made in stone or earthenware to prevent precipitation of the copper 
salts. Cover the surface of the galvanized iron with this solution 
and it will assume a black color, which on drying over night will turn 
light gray and upon which a red lead priming, thinned with equal 
parts of raw linseed oil and turpentine, will hold like grim death. 
Subsequent coats can be given in colors rich in oil, etc. Galvanized 
iron should at no time be first coated with an all oil paint. 

— 46 — 

Greens for Distemper Painting. 

The Brunswick green in distemper, which is acted on by alum, or 
caustic lime, is not the Brunswick green of years ago, which 
was a basic chloride of copper, now quite obsolete. It is 
known in the United States as commercial chrome green, a mix- 
ture of Prussian blue and chrome yellow on a mineral base, mostly 
barytes, usually 20 to 25 per cent, color, balance barytes. These 
greens hold their color very well as an oil paint, but as a water color 
are very easily attacked by lime and other caustics. Sometimes the 
blue will change first, but mostly the yellow turns to orange and gives 
a decidedly smutty olive cast to the color. We should advise for use 
in distemper painting, when the price paid for the work will permit the 



7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 19 

advance in cost, such as verdigris and emerald green, or, if their pois- 
onous character prevents their use, green verditer, Bremen green, co- 
balt green and terra Verte (or Verona green), all of which are lime 
or ^Ikali proof. 

— 47 — 

Fire Checks in Varnish. 

If the checks are not too prominent, we should advise one or two 
coats of good rubbing varnish, which will conceal all of this very ob- 
jectionable feature. 

— 48 — 
Preventing Bronze from Tarnishing. 

Any bronze stripe, letter, etc., may be kept from tarnishing by coat- 
ing it over with a thin coat of white shellac varnish, before it is coated 
with finishing varnish. 

— 49 — 

To Remove Very Hard Old Putty. 

Brush the putty over with muriatic acid, and, if necessary, repeat the 
operation several times; then remove with putty knife in the usual 
wav. 

— so- 
Sizing Muslin for Lettering. 

For ordinary signs, not exposed to the weather, use a thin size of 
glue and water. For outdoor purposes melt two ounces of white bees- 
wax, and after removing it from fire, thin with one quart of turpentine. 
Apply with a brush while warm. 

-Si- 
Filling in Letters on Metal Signs. 

If black, make a putty-like mass of asphaltum, brown japan and dry 
lampblack and fill the spaces. Clean the edges with turpentine and 
when the cement is dry polish the sign. For white letters make a putty 
of dry white lead with equal parts of coach japan and rubbing varnish 
and fill up the letters to nearly the level of the surface. When this is 
hard, apply a stout coat of flake white in japan, thinned with turps, 
which will give a clean white finish and may be polished. This may 
be tinted to any desired shade. In any case, the cavities of the letters 
must be thoroughly cleaned before filling in to insure adhesion of the 

— Sa — 

Crawling of Hard Drying Interior Varnish. 

Crawling of varnish may be due to various causes. Your first coat 
may not be hard enough to admit of the application of the second 
coat, and so on. The varnish may sweat out or the rooms may be 
too cold to permit the varnish to flow out and lie down evenly. In 
any case, the most effective way to prevent crawling of second and 



20 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

m 

succeeding coats is to see that previous coats are perfectly hard and 
to "moss" or "hair" them down. Often a simple rubbing with a moist- 
ened chamois will prove sufficient to prevent crawling. 

Your varnishes may be too heavy bodied for first coating, and in 
that case you should ask the advice of the makers as to the proper 
method of cutting the material. 

— 53 — 

Light Color for Oak Furniture. 

If oak furniture is to remain light, and especially the parts are not 
to set off dirty, proceed as follows: Take good wheat starch, press 
it fine with the hammer, stir strong yellow polish of good quality with 
the wheat starch into a thick paste and work it with a spatula into 
the pores, by passing crossways over the wood, allowing it to dry for 
one-half hour. Then go over the wood thus saturated with a scraper, 
so that only the pores remain filled. If there are open pores left pro- 
ceed as before. If the wood is to be polished, rub it down with pumice 
stone and oil and then polish ; if it is to remain dull, it may be coated 
with white wax and oil of turpentine and rubbed diligently. Turpen- 
tine, oil and wax applied on oak wood without previously filling up the 
pores does not remain clean and light for a long time. The pores satu- 
rated with wax become dirty in a short time because the wax does 
not become so firm as starch and polish. 

— 54 — 
Painting on Ground Glass. 

Rub over the ground side of the glass with equal parts of oil and 
turpentine, then dip some cotton into turpentine or benzine and re- 
move therewith the oil and dry the glass well. Now dust some fine 
starch on the surface and brush it off with a duster. This removes 
the dust produced by the grinding of the glass entirely and bleeding 
out of the colors need not be feared. Do not draw your sketch with 
lead pencil, because that will always show on the reverse, but use 
black crayon, because this will be absorbed into the colors. Select 
tube colors only for this purpose, and to make them flow properly add 
a little fat varnish and thin with turpentine for first and second coats. 
The larger paintings should have three or four coats, and should be 
stippled after every application. Should any part of the painting dry 
out flat, coat it with a good, pale coach varnish. Painting done by this 
method will prove very durable. 

— 55 — 

Iron Rusting Through White Lead. 

1. One coat of lead is insufficient to stop rust from coming through, 
when once formed, even if invisible to the naked eye before painting. 
Such rust will grow under any oil paint, and will come through sooner 
or later, especially fearly, when there is only one coat of paint. 

2. It is well known that linseed oil has a certain degree of porosity, 
and that it does not stop ingress of moisture ; therefore one coat of oil 



729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 21 

paint will not prevent the rtfsting of the iron, even if rust has not been 
already present before piainting. 

. 3. So long as a special brand of white lead was the only white Jead 
applied on some particular surface, it cannot be determined whether 
other brands would not have shown the same fault. 

— 56 — 

Making Use of Paint Skins for Roof Paint. 

We do not know of any better method to make use of paint skins 
than to soften them by boiling with plenty of linseed oil or linseed oil 
foots, running the softened skins through a paint mill or a paint 
strainer, and we believe such paint to be cheap, even at a high 
cost of linseed oil. We do not advocate the use of substitutes or in- 
ferior oils, nor would we recorpmend the boiling of paint skins with 
anything but linseed oil, but if the paint must be cheap and if low 
cost is paramount to durability, there are mineral oils and rosin oils 
offered to the trade, which may be employed for thinning the boiled 
skins to painting consistency and the material cheapened by these 
means* Many dissolve the paint skins accumulating about their 
workshops in a solution of 2 lbs. concentrated lye, 5 lbs. unslacked 
lime and 15 gallons of water. The skins are occasionally stirred and 
when dissolved the lyewater is poured off from the top and the paint 
in bottom of tank or barrel may be uaed, after thinning, for priming 
rough work, but is hardly fitted for coating tin roofs or ironwork. 

— 57 — 

To Fix Bronze Colors on Glass. 

The late Prof. R. Bottger, of Frankfort-on-the-Main, employed a 
process for fixing bronze colors on glass, etc., which consists in using 
differently colored fine bronze powder, together with a concentrated 
potash water glass solution of 30 degs. B. After the articles to be 
bronzed have been very thinly and uniformly coated with the water 
glass solution by the use of a fine brush the bronze powder is strewn 
on by means of a sort of sieve. Allow same to dry perfectly with ordi- 
nary heating, and remove with a broad, fine brush the superfluous 
bronze powder, which has not been taken up by the potash water glass. 
The water glass effects such an intimate combination and adhesion of 
the bronze powder layer to the object, that even alcohol, sulphuric 
ether or water are not capable of removing the same. Such articles 
may even be polished with a burnisher or agate. Glass as well as 
porcelain, metals of every description : wood, such as mirror and pic- 
ture frames, etc., can be decorated in this manner and the covering may 
be washed off without injury. 

— 58 — 

Varnish Becoming Chilled in Cold Weather. 

When varnish has become chilled, it will show a soiled or sandy sur- 
face. When varnish or japan is received in freezing weather, it should 
be placed and left undisturbed for a few days in a very warm place (at 
least 75 degs. F.) before an attempt to use it is made, and if stored in 



22 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

a room with a temperature lower than 70 degs. F., it should be placed 
in a place that is warmer than 75 degs. F. for a few hours. A ther- 
mometer in a room may register from 65 to 70 degs. F., yet if this ther- 
mometer was placed close to the floor it might register 10 degs. less. 

— 59 — 
Simple Tests for Linseed Oil. 

To test for purity, procure nitric acid of 1.40 specific gravity, and 
use no other for testing various samples of oil at the same time. Use 
glass testing tubes or two-ounce long vials of clear glass, and put into 
the tube equal parts of the oil to be tested and nitric acid, shaking it 
well for one-half of a minute, then set aside for about 15 or 20 minutes 
to settle. As rosin oils and mineral oils are about the only adulterations 
to be looked for at the present day, the following will be a guide : The 
nitric acid and oil will separate in the tube or bottle, the oil floating 
on top. There will be two layers or strata, and when the oil is pure 
raw linseed oil the upper stratum will be straw color, the lower 
stratum nearly colorless. If rosin oil be present in small percentage 
the upper stratum will be brown, the lower one decided straw color; 
when there is more rosin oil, say from 20 to 30 per cent., the upper 
stratum will be brownish black, the lower stratum deep straw color. 
If fish oil be present, the upper stratum will be thick brownish black 
mass, the lower dark orange.* For the presence of mineral oil the 
nitric acid test need not be applied, as the presence of mineral oil is 
revealed by a bloom or iridescence, that may be plainly noticed. If 
the painter is of an inquiring turn of mind and has the facilities, he 
may apply the flash test by heating the oil to a certain degree and then 
igniting the same. Pure linseed oil will not flash below 480 deg. F. : 
rosin oil will flash at 320 deg. F., and mineral oil at from 390 to 400 
deg. F. But the simplest and generally the most effective way to test 
raw linseed oil is for the painter to familiarize himself with the ap- 
pearance of rosin, mineral and fish oil, as well as with their odor. If 
he has any oil to sample that he suspects, let him put a few drops of 
the oil between the palms of his hands, rubbing them briskly together, 
and depend on his sense of smell. If there is any, even a very small 
portion, of the oils mentioned present, he will be sure to detect it. 

It will be very difficult to find at present any cold pressed oil, as 
nearly, if not quite all, the oil that is not made by extraction or perco- 
lation, is hot pressed. Cold pressed oil is of better odor and body and 
generally greener in color than the hot pressed oil, and this in turn is 
of better odor and body and not as dark in color as the extracted or 
percolated oil. In the nitric acid test, the cold pressed oil will give 
the palest color in the upper stratum, a very light straw ; hot pressed 
a straw color, and percolated oil gives a straw color with a reddish 
tinge. It is, however, a most difficult matter to decide between a well 
settled hot pressed oil and a newly made cold pressed oil, but there is 
scarcely any difficulty in determining which is pressed oil and which 
extracted oil. The latter is of lighter specific gravity, and if both 
are weighed at even temperatures in a standard measure on a delicate 
scale, the difference will be sufficiently marked. As in all things, im- 
partiality, accuracy and some little experience is required. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 23 

— 60 — 
Preparation for Damp Walls. 

We will give a few hints for the treatment of damp walls, obtained 
from reliable sources. 

Make a glue size by dissolving one pound of good white, sheet glue 
in one gallon of soft water, soaking the glue first in cold water and 
then boiling it in a water bath. Keep this glue size in hot water, stir 
in enough red lead to make a stout, but workable paint, and apply 
while hot. Whien the dampness comes from the outside of a wall, the 
moisture should be driven out by heating, the defects remedied by a 
plasterer or mason, when the wall is of brick or stone, or when of 
wood, battening and canvasing should be resorted to; the battens to 
be nailed up and down, a reasonable distance, say 16 to 20 inches, 
apart, the canvas cut to the size of the wall space and stitched neatly 
together, then stretched and tacked on to the battens, after which a 
glue and alum size is given, preparatory to the application of oil paint. 

Coating damp walls with tinfoil or sheet lead will prevent moist- 
ure from coming through the paint for a while, but does not effect 
a permanent cure. 

— 61 — 

Paint that Will Not Peel Off. 

Peeling or scaling of paint is usually due to the use of improper ma- 
terial for priming, and no subsequent attempt at remedying the evil 
will be successful, unless the proper priming is applied, after all the 
loose scales have been removed. Paints consisting of pigments of a 
brittle nature and inferior oil must be carefully avoided and the prim- 
ing must consist of a pigment and vehicle that have great affinity for 
one another. No matter what subsequent coats may consist of, the 
priming coat should be pure white lead and raw linseed oil. In re- 
painting such a job proceed in the following manner : First, scrape off 
all the paint, loose or otherwise, and if impossible to remove all- by 
scraping, but the obstinate part off in the usual way, then give a thin 
priming, using not over eight pounds of strictly pure white lead to one 
gallon of pure raw linseed oil, and about one-fourth pint of good liquid 
drier. If convenient, tint this prim.er with a little lampblack and work 
the priming well into the wood. Allow this priming to dry thoroughly 
for a week, if possible, then give a heavier coat of white lead, oil and 
drier, tinted to match finish desired, and when this has dried well, 
finish with whatever paint is required. Two coats over such priming 
should always be given. This method may be more expensive than 
those usually followed, but good results can be vouchsafed. 

— 62 — 
Painting Plastered Walls. 

In Government work contractors are generally held down strictly to 
specifications, which fact should not be lost sight of. It would be 
cheaper to give one coat of glue size and two coats of oil paint to the 
v/alls, but glue size direct to the plaster is unsafe on account of possible 



24 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

dampness, and if three coats of paint are specified, glue size will not be 
permitted to figure as a coat of paint. For good work on walls of hard 
plaster, a thin priming of white lead, thinned with raw oil and a small 
portion of turps, is recommended, on which a coat of glue size is ap- 
plied to stop suction for succeeding coats, of which there should be not 
less than two. 

— 63- 
Testing the Binding Properties of Glue. 

Good animal glue, when soaked in cold water, should swell con- 
siderably, should not discolor the water to any great extent, nor 
should it give off much soluble matter to cold water, and, above all, 
it should not give off a disagreeable, sour or moldy odor. 

Even when digested for twenty-four or forty-eight hours in cold 
water it must not become liquid enough to flow, but when heated at a 
temperature of 120 deg. F. it should dissolve and be thoroughly dis- 
solved at 125 deg. F. 

To test its binding properties there are various methods, but we 
shall give only the simplest one. One part by weight of glue, say i 
lb., and 2 parts by weight of water, say i quart, are heated in a glue 
pot on a steam bath, until the weight of the original mixture is 
reduced to if lbs. This is then tested in the following manner: 
Hard or soft wood, i inch in thickness and 16 inches long, are cut in 
half, so that each piece is 8 inches long, and these pieces are glued to- 
gether again at the point of separation and laid away for three days 
in a fairly warm place. On one of the pieces, i inch from the end, an 
eye bolt is inserted, to which afterward weights are attached and the 
pieces of wood fastened to a table, so that the joint is just flush with 
its edge ; then the weights are attached to the eye bolt, and the joint 
•should stand a weight of at least 150 lbs. before breaking if the glue 
is to be considered first class. The test should be begun with 50 lbs., 
and the weight increased 10 lbs. every minute, until breakage occurs. 
This, of course, is a test for joiners' glue, and if merely for painters' 
purposes we should say that the glue which takes up the most water in 
proportion is the best to select. 

— 64 — 
Treatment of Exposed Walls for Efflorescence. 

In an apartment house in New York City, the wall of the elevator 
shaft projects some 12 feet above the roof, having a northern exposure. 
The inside of the shaft, which has a plaster finish, had been painted. 
This paint cracked and crumbled off, and in scraping away the loose 
paint it would all fall away. The painter thought this was due to salt- 
peter. To cure it he put in new plaster mixed with water glass, and 
coated this again with water glass, shellac and paint, but the trouble 
broke out again a week or so later. He then puttied up all the joints 
on the outside of the wall and gave it a stout coat of graphite paint, 
but this also peeled off in places that corresponded with those on the 
inside. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 25 

This case is an old evil and may be traced to moisture and to soluble 
salts in the cement or mortar, and incidentally to inferior brick. The 
term "saltpeter" used in connection with efflorescence on brick walls 
is erroneous, the salts which are present in cement and mortar are dis- 
solved by the water with which these binders are mixed, and as the 
water evaporates in drying, it carries the salts to the surface in crys- 
talline form. In the case cited it would appear that the inside 
of the shaft was plastered and probably painted soon after, before the 
wall had ample time to dry out thoroughly. If such was the case, it 
is not surprising that the paint would not stay on the inside, because on 
a northern exposure the moisture could not be drawn out by the sun, 
consequently it remained there, and neither the inside paint could re- 
main firm nor the graphite paint applied to the outside. The painter was 
in no way to blame for the failure, as it is no doubt due to the ignor- 
ance or carelessness of those who did the work originally. Plastered 
walls should not be painted unless they are thoroughly hard, and if the 
plaster contains much lime they should be allowed to stand quite a 
long time, or the lime salts should be neutralized by a wash prepara- 
tory to painting. While there is no really eflFective remedy known to 
the trade or to science, excepting the thorough expulsion of moisture 
from the walls by heat, unless there is an opportunity for a wall to give 
up its moisture from the unplastered or unpainted side (which it would 
scarcely do when that side is exposed to the north), we would recom- 
mend repeated washings on both sides of the wall with phosphate of 
lime or phosphoric acid preferably, or with commercial sulphuric acid. 
Nitric acids and other acids, which form soluble salts with lime, must 
be avoided as washes in this connection. This treatment will neutral- 
ize the salts, which are detrimental to oil paint, and allow the coating 
to remain firm, unless an extraordinary amount of moisture will force 
its way through from the other side. The first coat of oil paint applied 
over the wash when this has had ample time to act on the mortar or 
plaster and become dry, should be a stout all oil paint, with only the 
necessary drier added, and well rubbed out. When the weather is 
favorable and the wall reasonably dry, the outside should be given a 
few good coats of good linseed oil paint to keep moisture from strik- 
ing in. 

-65- 
Cheap Coal Tar and Mineral Paint, Etc. 

A painter wants to know how to make a cheap black paint from coal 
tar, and a cheap ready mixed paint from iron oxides for covering iron 
and tin roofs, which should.be practically an anti-rust paint. 

If you want something cheap, you cannot expect wear or durability, 
nor can you expect to give the metal protection against rust. It has 
been demonstrated that coal tar, though apparently preserving iron, 
when repeatedly applied, does not stop or prevent corrosion, but that 
it rather aids in the gradual destruction and weakening of the metal, 
unless it is thoroughly refined and mixed with good asphaltum and 
linseed oil, and combined with drying mediums in the varnish kettle 
and thinned with good solvent, such as benzol, spirits of "turpentine 



26 729 PAINT- QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

or benzine. Coal tar, simply thinned with benzine, becomes too brit- 
tle after drying to withstand the action of the elements for any length 
of time. Here is a formula for a black that has given good satisfaction 
for wear: Take 30 pounds each of coal tar pitch and cheap asphal- 
tuni, melt and boil over a slow fire for 5 hours; then add 8 gallons 
boiled linseed oil, and slowly 10 pounds each red lead and litharge; 
boil 3 hours longer, then take from fire and thin while still warm with 
enough turpentine or benzine to make it work freely. If this be too 
troublesome or too high for cost, take 3 gallons liquid coal tar and mix 
with it I gallon benzine asphaltum varnish, which may be thinned 
with either turpentine or benzine to working consistency. 

We would suggest, however, that you buy your material ready for 
use from manufacturers, who make a specialty of supplying such 
paints, as it may save you money in the long run, not to speak of the 
risk you run in preparing these goods yourself. 

As for cheap oxide of iron paints for roofs, if you have no mill, we 
should advise you to buy your red or brown, already ground in oil, and 
thin it with good old-fashioned kettle boiled linseed oil or raw oil and 
liquid drier. If you value your reputation as a painter, you will not 
resort to the use of mineral or rosin oils, and if you desire to make an 
anti-rust paint you will use good Venetian red or metallic brown for 
tin roofs, and prime with red lead for iron. When color is no object 
it might pay you to try graphite paint. 

— 66 — 
Painting a Hearse in White. 

As hearses are subject to exposure and wear same as other vehicles, 
though not to such an extended degree, the use of zinc white and damar 
varnish, which furnish the cleanest white, cannot be taken into con- 
sideration and we must look to white which will give the next best 
result as regards whiteness and which will insure durability at the 
same time. These are the quick-drying whites, known variously as 
Cremnitz white, flake white or Florence white, and are usually ground 
in very pale drying vehicles and are ready for application when 
thinned with good, pure turpentine. 

But it is not only necessary to select the best of these, but to pro- 
ceed with the utmost care from the very foundation up to exclude any 
excess of oil, which may discolor subsequent coats of clear white. 

To make a first class job in painting a hearse or any other vehicle in 
white, if the object is entirely new, dust off the wood and remove any 
discoloration that may be apparent. Then give a coat of pure raw lin- 
seed oil, which may be warmed, in case its temperature is less than 
75 deg. F. Brush this in well and see that every part of the wood is 
covered. This should be allowed at least 5 days before another coat is 
given and then well sandpapered. Now a coat of white lead in oil, 
thinned with one-quarter raw oil and three-quarters part turps, to 
which a little pale coach japan is added, may be applied and, this coat 
dry, the necessary puttying or glazing should be done. Use for putty 
a mixture of dry white lead and equal parts of rubbing varnish and 
pale coach or gold sized japan. For the deeper places it must be rather 
stiff, otherwise it may be pastelike, and for glazing, thin with turps. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 27 

After removing uneven places with sandpaper, give a second coat of 
white lead, thinned with a trifle of oil only, say one-eighth raw oil and 
seven-eighths turps, adding a tablespoonful of pale coach japan to 
one-half gallon of the thinned lead paint. Then sandpaper again 
lightly, and apply two coats of any of the quick-drying whites above 
referred to, using a soft bristle brush and working the white in such 
a way that brush marks afe avoided. It is well to add a trifle pale 
finishing varnish as additional binder, especially for the second coat. 
Over this apply a full, flowing coat of the palest rubbing varnish, to 
which has been added a trifle of the quick-drying white to take off the 
yellow cast of the varnish. When thoroughly dry, rub with pumice 
and water, clean off carefully, then apply a coat of flatting varnish, also 
colored with some of the white. Moss or hair carefully when dry, and 
clean up thoroughly, then apply a final coat of palest finishing var- 
nish that can be obtained. 

There are other methods of finishing vehicles in white, but we be- 
lieve this to be the most durable for the short time required and the 
most economical. 

-67- 
Method of Finishing Hard Wood Floors. 

There are various ways of treating hard wood floors and the method 
adopted depends on the taste of thq owner and the price paid for the 
work. The most usual and cheapest method is to oil the floor, after 
it has been thoroughly cleaned of plaster spots and other marks of 
discoloration, dust, etc. ; the oil should be kettle boiled, or if this can- 
not be had, good pure raw linseed oil, with one pint of good japan, to 
seven pints of the oil and well brushed in. This dry, put on paste 
wood filler of a color suited to the wood and thinned with turps, the 
surplus of which is to be removed as usual, when about to set. When 
the filler has become hard and dry, carefully sandpaper, putty up with 
hard drying material to match color of wood, then dust off and give a 
coat of shellac, which may be rubbed with flour of pumice and oil to 
present a dull finish, or may be waxed with wax floor polish. 

If it is desirable to change the color of the wood, transparent, or 
semi-transparent colors, such as raw or burnt sienna, raw or burnt um- 
ber, Vandyke brown or rosepink or any mixture of these may be added 
to the oil for the priming and the wood filler selected to match. In 
place of the shellac a good, hard floor varnish, that will rub well, may 
be substituted. If undesirable to ufee varnish, the floor may be oiled 
or stained and filled and wax floor polish paste applied directly with- 
out an intervening coat of varnish and polished with a large, heavy 
floor brush, the finish depending on the amount of elbow grease ex- 
pended. 

For extra fine work and where price permits, the oiling and filling 
is proceeded with in similar manner, but the finishing is done by giving 
in succession several coats of shellac varnish or hard-drying floor var- 
nish, each of these being rubbed with pumice and water or pumice 
and oil, until an even mirror-like surface is obtained and the final coat 
of varnish simply "mossed" to take off the very high lustre, and then 
usually waxed. 



:28 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

The foregoing is the method used for finishing hard wood floors, 
Avhich are expected to be subjected to extraordinary wear, such as the 
floors of offices, hospitals, public halls and libraries, etc. The pre- 
vailing practice for floors in private residences, where they are covered 
with rugs or carpets for at least part of the year, is more simple. They 
^^re not oiled, but the hard wood filler is applied directly to the finished 
wood, wiped off, allowed about 24 hours to-dry, sandpapered and either 
shellac varnished or waxed directly on the filler. While not as last- 
ing as the other method, it wears fairly well and makes a good finish 
that does not scratch or spot as readily as varnished floors, and it is 
much more economical. 

■ 

— 68 — 

How Should Copper Work Be Treated to Get the Best Results for 
Painting the Same to Resist the Discoloration by Verdigris? 

Copper, like bronze, when exposed to the influence of the 
atmosphere, becomes oxidized on the surface and this film or m- 
crustation so formed, which is known by the technical term patina, 
will resist further oxidation and upon it any good oil paint will gain a 
firm hold, unless there be grease or dust deposit present. These 
should be removed by brushing or washing before painting. 

Verdigris, so isolated, will have no ill effect on oil paint, but if cop- 
per must be painted, before patina has formed, it should be well 
cleansed and a thin coat of shellac varnish applied before beginning 
to paint. This is the proper method to be followed on small articles 
of copper that are not to be exposed. 

Where the green verdigris has formed, instead of the brown oxide of 
copper, remove it with a rag saturated with a weak solution of am- 
monia and rub dry, then apply a thin coat of shellac varnish. 

— 69- 

What Is the Cause of Linseed Oil Applied on the Outside Losing Its 

Gloss, Say Within Sixty Days? 

A large book could be written on this subject alone, and limit of 
space allows us to mention only very few of the causes that make 
linseed oil lose its gloss more rapidly than it should. Chief among 
them is the inveterate use of liquid or lightning driers or japans and 
turpentine. Next comes the practice of giving only two coats, where 
three are required. The too rapid application of the final coat upon 
the preceding one may also account for the deadening of the gloss. 

The use of earthy pigments in old paints causes much of this trouble, 
but through no particular fault of theirs, rather, because their re- 
<:'uirements for a liberal allowance of good, heavy bodied oil are not 
always understood. 

When the undercoats are too oily or not dry enough, the next coat 
ot oil paint is liable to sink in or deaden. The same will happen when 
oil paint is applied to wet surface. Good, heavy-bodied raw linseed 
oil, to which a moderate quantity of good japan drier is added, or good 
kettle boiled linseed oil, when judiciously used with the desired oil 



7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 29 

colors or white lead or both, combined on final cbat on good hard 
ground work, will* not lose its gloss under ordinary conditions in 60- 
daysi, nor in a year. Of course, there are conditions where linseed oil 
will not stand, such as sulphur-laden atmospheres or where ammonia, 
vapors abound. 



— 70 — 
Putty for Parquet Floors. 

An excellent putty for floors consists of a thorough mixture of paper,, 
preferably blotting paper, which has been soaked in boiling hot water 
until pulp is formed, which is then mixed with glue, also dissolved in 
water. To this bolted whiting is added in sufficient quantity to make 
a fairly stiff putty by kneading the mass, which is pressed into the 
cracks and smoothed off with the spatula or putty knife. However, 
this putty is recommended for large cracks only, because unshrinkable, 
but is scarcely adapted for shallow cracks in a parquet floor. For this 
purpose we would recommend one part white lead in oil, mixed with 
two or three parts of bolted whiting and enough coach varnish to make 
a stiff paste. If the work must be hastened, coach japan may be sub- 
stituted for part of the coach varnish. This putty will resist moisture, 
and when dry and hard may be sandpapered or rubbed, and it may be 
tinted with color if required to match the color of the wood. 



— 71 — 
Backing for Gilding on Glass. 

The best backing for gilding on glass when the same is to be shaded 
is dry lampblack mixed with quick-drying rubbing varnish and thinned 
with enough spirits of turpentine to make the material work evenly 
and freely. Or drop black ground in japan, thinned with turpentine to- 
which a moderate. portion of quick-drying varnish has been added, will 
serve the purpose also very well. Either of these will not soften 
under the shading color, and can be made to dry hard in less than 12 
hours, but will not increase the burnish of the gold. 

That is an entirely different matter, and depends on the condition 
of the size used in laying the leaf and on the subsequent treatment in 
burnishing. Some authorities recommend the use of gum arabic size,, 
one drachm to one pint of boiling water, which is to be filtered through 
blotting paper, and to which, when cold, one teaspoonful of white 
whisky is added. Kept in a bottle well corked, it will keep for a 
year. The most favored size, however, consists of isinglass, of which 
a piece the size of a nickel is dissolved in a pint of rain water, boiling 
hot. This solution is filtered through filtering or blotting paper, and 
when cold a tablespoonful of whisky or alcohol added. 

If the use of asphaltum for backing the gold leaf is avoided and 
japan color, thinned with rubbing varnish, used, the gold will retain its 
burnish, because such colors will not strike in, as may be the case with 
asphaltum. 



30 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 72 — 

Paint Peeling and Blistering in Hothouses. 

Considerable trouble was experienced because of paint peeling and 
blistering on the cypress framework of a hothouse. The wood was 
thoroughly seasoned, primed with best French ocher, thinned with 
good raw linseed oil and a little japan. The priming was allowed to 
stand a week and was then given two coats pure white lead in oil 
thinned with raw oil and a trifle of japan only. 

Cypress being close grained, ocher, no matter how finely ground it 
may be, is not the proper material for priming, because it produces a 
film that does not adhere well, excepting on very spongy and open-, 
grained wood. The oil penetrates into the wood to a certain extent 
and leaves the brittle pigment on the surface without sufficient 
binder. 

It is a noted fact that on many houses primed with ocher and fin- 
ished with tinted lead, where paint has scaled, there was a so-called 
splitting of the priming coat, the priming apparently still remaining 
on the wood, while on the back of the scales the color of ocher is also 
plainly noticeable. That pure white lead tempers the brittleness of 
ocher is an established fact, and if ocher is desirable in a primer it 
should be mixed with white lead in equal bulk. 

However, for the inside of hothouses that are constructed of cypress 
or similar timber, pure white lead only is recommended for priming, 
and such priming should not be all oil, but should contain a trifle 
of turpentine also in order to make the paint lie down close, nor should 
subsequent coats of paint be too oily, and be well brushed out; ample 
time for drying should also be given between coats. The cause for 
blistering may have been somewhat due to green wood, but we rather 
think it Ayas caused by moisture and heat, the water condensing on 
the paint being absorbed by the pores in the latter and settling under 
the priming coat, naturally formed blisters and in some places threw 
off the paint. 

— 73 — 

To Paint Zinc Lined Bathtubs Successfully. 

To make a good and durable job, the paint should be baked, but if 
this is out of the question, it must be air dried. After cleaning the 
zinc surface from grease, etc., wash thoroughly with dilute muriatic 
acid and rinse well with clear water. Dry the surface and give a coat 
of zinc white in oil, thinned with two-thirds oil and one-third turpen- 
tine, and a trifle of japan. Allow this to dry hard, then apply the flat 
color and varnish or give the required number of coats of so-called 
enamel. It is self-evident that only ihe very best material will give 
satisfactory wear. 

— 74 — 

Effect of the Vapors in Stables on Oil Paint. 

The inside of a stable having rough plastered walls and brick arched 
ceiling was painted in the fall with oil paint. But during the winter 
the ceiling dripped with moisture and the coachman attempted to wash 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 31 

it with soap and water, when the paint came off like whitewash. 

It is well known that ammonia vapors form in stables, and that dur- 
ing the winter especially, when there is little airing of such places, 
the ammonia vapors are bound to seek an escape somewhere, and 
naturally an arched ceiling will be first attacked. The paint becomes 
saponified and runs, and the least friction, as in this case, by washing, 
will remove it completely. This has been recognized for quite a 
time, and the general practice is to have stables finished in hard wood, 
with a good varnish coating, which, after all, resists ammonia vapors 
better than oil paint. The painter cannot be blamed for the perishing 
of the paint, because he cannot estimate in advance the possible degree 
of deteriorating influences from this source. 

— 75 — 
The Blackening of Gold Bronze on Exposure. 

The spikes of an iron railing were painted with gold bronze, which 
turned black in less than four months. The bronzing liquid that wa,s 
bought by the painter becamie thick, and was thinned with turps. 

While an inferior bronzing liquid may have a bad effect on the 
bronze when the powder is mixed with the liquid and kept for any 
length of time, it cannot be due to the quality of the liquid in this 
case. There is gold bronze on the market that will not tarnish on ex- 
posure to the elements,, but such is really more expensive than gold 
leaf. The bronze sold for general use consists of alloys of copper and 
zinc or tin, and will be bright only so long as a spigot or other article 
of brass or copper on exposure to air. When such bronze is mixed, 
with the liquid and so applied, it will be bright until the atmospheric 
influences destroy the vehicle. Often, however, the acids in the var- 
nish or bronzing liquid attack the bronze itself and turn the bronze 
green, if not black. Where durability is desired, gold leaf should be 
used. 

-76- 

Painting with Oil Paint on Muslin or Canvas That Is to Be Rolled Up 

Frequently and Exposed to the Weather. 

Dissolve white beeswax, which is finely sliced, in spirits of turpen- 
tine in the cold way, which requires about three days. The mass' 
must have the consistency of soft soap. Now add three-quarter 
pound of this to two pounds of J^nc white, ground in oil, and two ta- 
blespoonfuls of soft soap. This thick mass, to which is added a trifle 
japan, is applied with a large spatula to the canvas, so that all pores 
are filled and the superfluous material removed with the spatula. 
When this priming is dry, thin the mass with equal parts of boiled 
linseed oil and turpentine to brushing consistency and apply one full 
coat. If this has not well covered, apply another coat. The further 
manipulation is carried on as in other sign work where oil color* are 
used. 



32 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 77 — 

Painting Engines and Ice Machinery. 

On account of the great variations of temperatures, material of great 
elasticity and resistance to dampness is required for this kind of work. 
Ordinary copal varnish will not fill these requirements. Old ma- 
chinery which shows cracks must be treated with paint remover, while, 
where there are no cracks, the old varnish must be removed by rub- 
bing down with pumice and water, then painted over with flat oil or 
japan color and striped and varnished with material that is especially 
adapted for this work. Lead must not be used on this sort of work, 
because it does not stand the heat, and if the tone is to be brown, 
tuscan red and burnt umber would make a rich brown, which would 
stand pretty high degrees of temperature. For a gray, zinc white 
would be the best base. 

-78- 
The Bronzing of Plaster Coats. 

A soap is made from linseed oil and caustic soda, which is precipi- 
tated with a solution of common salt and then filtered. Then a solu- 
tion is made of four parts of vitriol of copper and one part of vitriol 
of iron in hot water, which is added to the above filtrate, when a flocu- 
lent precipitate is formed that contains oxide of copper and iron in 
combination with the fatty acids of the soap and is reddish brown in 
color; This precipitate is repeatedly washed, first in hot, then in cold 
water, pressed and dried. 

Now eight gallons of pure raw linseed oil are boiled with eight 
pounds of litharge (must be powdered), then filtered and allowed to 
clear. When clear, fifteen parts by weight of this boiled oil and 
twelve parts of the dried copiper and iron soap and five parts of white 
beeswax are melted together at moderate heat, and this liquid is ap- 
plied with a brush to the figures, which have been previously heated 
to 200 deg. F. Then they are exposed to the air for a few days to 
dry, rubbed off with a woolen cloth and touched up with bronze pow- 
der at edges or other raised lines. Small articles may be dipped in 
place of brushing. 

— 79 — 

Putty for Zinc Ornaments. 

Take equal parts in bulk of zinc dust, or in lieu thereof zinc oxide 
and fine Paris white, and mix the same to a stout, plastic mass with a 
solution of 33 degrees Be water glass. Scrape the faulty place first 
clean with knife or other handy instrument, then fill it with this mass, 
vjhich becomes hard in six to eight hours, and if the work is to be fine, 
smooth it with an agate pestle. This putty also adheres to glass, stone 
and metals, and is water proof. 

— 8o — 

Preparation of Woolen Texture for Painting. 

A woolen flag that has been patched is to be painted over. 



729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 33 

Saturate the new patches with a solution of isinglass and use colors 
ground in elastic coach varnish, thinned with turpentine only, to which 
may be added a small portion of beeswax dissolved in turpentine. 
The principal point is to give the new patches as nearly as possible the 
appearance of the old parts of the flag or banner. 

— 8i — 

Painting of Iron Fences with Asphaltum Varnish. 

Very much depends upon the quality of the asphaltum varnish, and 
a cheap article is not to be recommended for this purpose at any time. 
It should be genuine asphaltum, combined with sufficient oil to make 
it elastic, but it is here, as with many other materials, first cost is 
considered before quality. Nor would we recommend the application 
of asphaltum over an oil priming, because the final coat should be the 
most elastic. Rather than this, the asphaltum varnish should be ap- 
plied to the metal direct. Our advice is, prime with red lead or a mix- 
ture of white lead and red lead, and finish with a good oil paint, to 
which, if desirable, a portion of first-class outside varnish may be 
added. The priming should not be too oily to make the finishing coat 
more adhesive and stand out with a better gloss. 

— 82 — 

Ruling Lines on Blackboards. 

Oil colors, when thinned with japan and turpentine, will not run 
in striping, but japan colors should have some boiled oil and only little 
turps for thinners, if they are used for this purpose. To make the 
lines stand the continuous friction from marking with chalk and the 
washing with sponge, a coat of rubbing or flatting varnish should be 
given, and this rubbed down with pumice and water, because chalk 
will not mark or hold well on glossy ^irfaces. 

-83- 

Loss of Opacity or Covering Power in Zinc White. 

A barrel of dry zinc white kept in the shop for a year was found to 
have lost body and become practically transparent, although of excel- 
lent covering property when first purchased. 

The cause of the change lies in the fact that zinc oxide has the prop- 
erty to absorb carbonic acid from the air, and especially when the 
material has become moist from one cause or another. Part at least 
of the zinc oxide changes into zinc carbonate, and while the latter is 
of good white color it is transparent in comparison with the former. 
Therefore dry zinc white, if kept in stock for any length of time, should 
be kept in well closed packages. 

-84- 
Fireproofing Textile Fabrics. 

Ammonium chloride, as well as alum solution, are recommended, 
also waterglass, and these are probably the cheapest mediums for the 
purpose. A solution which has given excellent results is composed of 



34 • 7J9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

4 gallons of water, in which are dissolved 40 ounces chloride of am- 
monia, 40 ounces boracic acid, 5 ounces carbonate of ammonia, 4 
ounces potassium bitartrate and 4 ounces potassium oxalate. The 
fabric is steeped into the solution for fifteen minutes and then dried. 

-85- 
Vamishcd Table Tops That Will Stand Heat. 

A treatment is wanted for an old walnut table top, that will prevent 
the cloth from sticking to the varnish when hot dishes are placed on it. 

The fault lies in the varnish, if a moderate amount of heat makes the 
tablecloth stick to the varnish. Very likely the varnish is not made 
of a hard enough gum, as anything in the varnish line is frequently 
considered good enough for furniture. This may be so for cheap fur- 
niture, but will not answer for the tops of tables on which hot dishes 
are being placed. In the case above cited, we would recommend a 
rubbing down of the top with powdered pumice and water, thereby 
removing the old varnish and preparing a level, well filled surface. 
This done, a coat of good, hard drying, rubbing varnish is given, which 
should be well brushed out and allowed to dry. Then a heavy, flow- 
ing coat of rubbing varnish should be applied, and when this is dry 
it is rubbed with flour of pumice until even and washed off. Now it 
is rubbed with rotten stone and sweet oil, the oil cleaned off and the 
surface polished with the hand or chamois leather. 

If this method is too expensive, the rubbing may be dispensed with 
and the varnish surface simply "haired or mossed," but the varnish 
must be of the best quality. 

— 86 — 
Cheap Paint for Rough Work. 

Linseed Oil and Water Emulsion. — Shake i pound caustic lime and 
add enough soft water to make 2 J gallons of lime water, dissolve i 
pound sal soda in 2J gallons of soft water. Mix the two solutions and 
stir into the mixture i gallon of raw linseed oil. Let it stand for sev- 
eral days, then use it with raw linseed oil in equal proportions as 
thinner for paint. 

Fence Paint, White. — Mix thoroughly and then strain or run 
through a paint mill 2 parts in bulk of slacked lime in stout consistency 
with I part in bulk of white lead in oil, then thin with linseed oil 
enough to spread well. 

Cheap Mineral Paint for Rough Work. — To 75 pounds of ocher, 
Venetian red or mineral brown, add 75 pounds bolted whiting and 20 
pounds air slaked lime, mix well and thin with equal proportions of 
raw linseed oil and skimmed sweet milk. Run through strainer, when 
of proper consistency for application. 

-87- 
Paint for the Dials of Spirit Compasses. 

A man who frequently has to repair compasses for ships has been un- 
able to make a white that will stand in alcohol, nor a black for the 
numbers. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 35 

We have had no experience along this line of painting, and find the 
question a difficult one to answer. We do not entertain the idea that 
the paint is dissolved by the alcohol, but simply softened and lifted 
off, as it were. If it were a mere matter of solubility in alcohol, we 
should have to see that the vehicles used in the paint are insoluble in 
cold alcohol, and for such hard kauri varnishes can be highly recom- 
mended. Amber varnish would be better still, were it not for the fact 
that it discolors white so badly. We should say that a varnish made 
of extra pale, hard kauri gum with a moderate quantity of bleached 
linseed oil and the necessary quantity of turpentine, to which sufficient 
P>ench zinc in varnish is added to make a stout, white paint, would 
not be affected by alcohol, provided a good ground is given the dial 
first. The black for figures, etc., could be mixed from lampblack or 
ivory black in japan and a good kauri varnish, the latter for a bind- 
ing medium. Should a glossy white on the dial interfere with the 
proper application or adhesion of the black numbers, the white could 
be made from zinc that is ground in paste form with pale kauri var- 
nish and thinned with turpentine to dry flat or with eggshell gloss, and 
the dial varnished with two coats of extra pale varnish after number- 
ing. An experiment on these lines by painting a strip of metal, steep- 
ing th^ same in alcohol, would be the very best way of ascertaining 
the value of the foregoing suggestions. 

— 88 — 
Restoring the Gloss on Linoleum. 

Floor varnish is not advisable. A better method and less destructive 
to the cloth is to rub over the cloth with a mixture of one part each of 
paraffine and palm oil, thinned with four parts kerosene oil. 

— 89 — 

Paste for Fastening Oilcloth to Wood. 

Mix one pound wheat flour with two quarts of water, in which has 
been dissolved one quarter ounce of alum, and while constantly stir- 
ring with a wooden stick boil the mixture until mushy, so that the 
stick will stand in it. This tough paste is applied to the table top and 
the oilcloth laid thereon and smoothed out from the center toward 
the edges, so that there will be no wrinkles or blisters. 

-go- 
To Keep Cassel Brown in Soft Paste Form. 

Assuming that this question relates to paste for distemper paint- 
ing we would say that in such case, inasmuch as cassel brown is un- 
affected by alkalies, you may mix your dry brown with some soda lye 
of 20 deg. B., and then add enough glycerin of 28 deg. B. until a smooth 
paste is obtained. If it refers to a paste in oil, however, we would; 
advise you to dry your cassel brown sharply, then rub it under the> 
muller with spirits of turpentine until fine, then add linseed oil to 
give required consistency. But isn't it cheaper to buy your cassel 
brown already prepared in paste form? 



36 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

> 

— 91 — 

To Make Plaster Paris Set Slow. 

Add to the dry plaster before mixing with water from 2 to 4 per 
cent, by weight of finely pulverized marshmallow root, and you will 
lind that it will require a full hour for the mass to set hard. Not only 
that, but you will also find that the mass, when dry, can be sawed, filed 
or turned off and that it will not shrink, crack or brittle. If 8 per cent, 
of the root, by weight, is added, it will require from two to three hours 
to set, and the mass will be still harder when dry. When colors are 
added to the mass, a tine imitation of marble can be had, or if formed 
into tiles these may be painted, polished or varnished. 

— 92 — 

Painting of Lincrusta with Oil Colors. 

A heavy bodied boiled oil, such as is used in the manufacture of 
linoleum, i. e., pure linseed oil that is boiled with the required drying 
mediums, until it attains the consistency of heavy syrup, mixed with 
the desired colors, is the best material we know of for the purpose. 

— 93 — 

Removing Grease Spots from Stone Work. 

To remove grease spots from stone steps or stone floors, pour strong 
soda water or boiling hot water over the spot, then lay on a thin bat- 
ter made of Fuller's earth and boiling water; let it remain on over 
night, and if the grease be not removed repeat the process. Some- 
times the grease may be taken out by rubbing the spot with hard 
stone, using fine sand and very hot water with soap and soda. 

— 94 — 

Preventing Coal Tar from Striking Through Oil Paint. 

There have been various methods suggested lately, but they are 
too complicated, and if the coal tar is well absorbed into the wood in 
that case, we should say that a liberal coat of orange or brown shellac 
varnish would isolate the coal tar effectually. 

— 95 — 

United States Lighthouse Paint. 

A few years ago the Government used a cheap white or buff-colored 
water paint on lighthouses and the stone surrounding them, which 
stood fairly well. 

The paint in question is, or was, prepared as follows: One-half 
bushel of lime is slaked with boiling water and kept covered during 
the slaking process to keep in the steam. When cold, it is strained 
through an ordinary sieve or paint strainer, then one peck of salt dis- 
solved in warm water, three pounds of rice flour stirred in water and 
boiled to a thin paste, one pound Spanish whiting and one pound pale 
glue, also dissolved, are added to the strained lime mixture, thoroughly 
stirred and allowed to stand well covered for several days before using. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. n 

Before applying, the wash must be warmed up in a kettle or portable 
furnace and applied with wall brushes as hot as can be done without 
injuring the bristles. This paint is said to wear well on wood, brick 
or stone. To produce the buff tone, use French ocher as coloring, but 
no chrome yellow ; and if a reddish buff is required, use Venetian red 
and ocher. 

— 96- 

Rcd Brick Wash That Will Stand Water. 

Stale beer has not sufficient binder to make the paint or wash stand 
water, and a wash made with it would be worthless. Mix dry 
V^enetian red with skim milk and the action of the lime base will make 
the curd of the milk insoluble in water, but should the Venetian red 
b^ free from lime, then limewater, whiting or quicklime should be 
added to the milk before mixing the red with it. To ascertain whether 
the Venetian red contains whiting or lime, drop upon a portion of it 
some commercial sulphuric acid, and if the red powder does not effer- 
vesce lime in the form needed is not present, and the aforesaid alka- 
line addition must be made. If the color is to be waterproof, how- 
•ever, add to each gallon thereof one-half gallon boiled linseed oil and 
stir well. Still, the wash without the oil, when properly made, will 
not wash off for years and makes a good brick renewer. 

— 97 — 
Finishing Yellow Pine Doors. 

Southern yellow pine doors were first sandpapered and dusted off, 
then given oqe coat of oil shellac, and when this was dry a finishing 
coat of excellent spar varnish was applied. This was done in the 
spring, but in the summer they checked off in places, and in the early 
fall some of the finish came off in large blotches, leaving the wood 
bare. 

Yellow pine surface is very difficult to make any kind of finish stay 
on, especially when exposed to the sun, because of the sappy or resin- 
<»us nature of the wood. We think the cause of the early failure was 
due to the oil shellac, which is hardly the proper material for outside 
work, as it is of uncertain quality, judging from the prices asked for 
it. We would also advise you to never give a guarantee for the dura- 
bility of a finish on yellow pine doors that are exposed to the weather, 
but to undertake it at the owner's risk only. To refinish the door in 
question we would advise you to scrape down to the bare wood and 
sandpaper the silrface; dust off thoroughly, then apply one coat ot 
boiled linseed oil, cut with a little turps, which brush out thin and 
allow to dry hard. Now give a coat of pure grain alcohol shellac var- 
nish, then follow with your final coat of good outside or spar varnish, 

-98- 
Preventing Paint from Peeling on Brick Walls. 

Six months after some brick walls had been painted, in places the 
paint had peeled off so that there was not a .particle remaining. A 
month later the walls were repainted with the same result. This 
was probably due to moisture in the wall. 



38 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

There is no known remedy to prevent even the very best paint from 
peeling off from damp brickwork, and the conditions of the surface 
should be examined before beginning to paint. The bricks may ap- 
pear thoroughly dry and yet contain moisture on the inside. In this 
case, we think it would have been well to have scraped off whatever 
paint yet remained on the bad spots and allowed the sun tovgets its 
work in on the walls during the hot months and repainted the surface 
then. Of course, on the north side of a building this would be of little 
avail, and it would only be doing justice to himself and his patron to 
call the latter's attention to the fact that under existing conditions a 
durable job cannot be guaranteed. As the paint adhered in some 
places and not in others, we can be reasonably sure that the fault was 
not in the paint, but most likely to dampness in certain parts of the 
wall. 

— 99 — 

Marine Paints. 

A line of paints which are well considered and extensively sold to 
the fresh water ship trade are called carbon paints. We append three 
formulas covering such goods : 

300 lbs. litharge, 

300 lbs. powdered wood charcoal, 
60 lbs. asbestine pulp, 
30 lbs. lamp black, 

12 oz. borax dissolved in 6 gals, of water. 
240 gals, pure raw linseed oil. 

This makes a paint which resists the combined action of water and 
weather to an astonishing degree. The paint is not cheap but good. 
Cheaper and not so good, but still good is this one : 
400 lbs. boneblack, 
200 lbs. asbestine pulp or china clay, 
20 lbs. gas black, 
45 g2Lls. raw linseed oil, 
24 gals, glass oil, 
22 gals, benzine drier, 

24 gals, benzine or naphtha, or, as it is some- 
times called, "63 deg. turps." 

A good graphite paint is : 

240 lbs. plumbago (use good stock), 
120 lbs. asbestine pulp or china clay, 
20 gals, good varnish oil (coach oil), 
65 gals, raw linseed oil, 
6 gals, turpentine. 

They are made for fresh water work and are very extensively used 
upon bottoms in the great lakes trade. We do not know that the paint 
has been tried in salt water, save when some of the lake vessels go into 
the salt water, as they do every year. We are unable to give any defi- 
nite information as to the condition of the» bottoms of such craft and 
do not think that the matter has ever been investigated. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 39 

There iS no evident reason why those formulas should not furnish 
a ve^y good salt water paint. The paints would not be likely to devel- 
op any marked anti-fouling properties, but might if there was some 
verdigris or like material ground into them — something that would 
rest unsatisfactorily in the stomach of a barnacle. The paints in ques- 
tion will make most excellent anti-corrosive paints for all sorts of ex- 
posures. 
The following is a good but costly anti-fouling paint : 
Grind equal weights of white lead, Brunswick green, verdigris and 
arsenic to a paste with linseed oil and varnish, and then thin with mix- 
ing varnish. 

Here is an enamel paint largely used : 

150 lbs. Venetian red, 
140 lbs. oxide of zinc. 

Grind to a paste with a combination of equal parts of linseed oil and 
a good strong varnish. Thin with rosin varnish. 
Here is a poison enamel paint : 

175 lbs. oxide of zinc, 
15 lbs. oxide of mercury. 
These are ground into 25 gallons gloss oil and thinned, if need be, 
with benzine. 

— 100 — 

The Blacking of Gold Bronze on Exposure. 

When using bronzing liquid, never add turps, for the acid in the 
turpentine will, sometimes in two or three weeks, change the color of 
bronze. The best thing to add, when bronzing liquid becomes too 
thick or gummy, is benzine, which is a more volatile thinner than tur- 
pentine. A great deal depends on the ground you put liquid bronze 
on. For outside work, which is generally painted in oil color, it is 
best, when dry, to use thin glue water and let it dry before applying 
bronze liquid, as the glue water v/ill not permit the acid in the oil 
color to affect the bronze. To prevent atmospheric influences after 
bronze has been applied, go over parts which have been bronzed with 
thin glue water. When this is dry, you can varnish it over. Although 
the gold bronze will lose a little of its luster, we have known that 
bronze applied in this way will last three or more years, and will stand 
nearly as good as gold leaf. Gold leaf, of course, will last twenty 
years and is more durable. Very often after bronze has been applied 
in above way, instead of using thin glue water and varnish over same, 
very thin coat of white shellac can be applied over bronze, which will 
retain the brightness and durability as long as the shellac will last. 
Above is about the only way to keep bronze from tarnishing. We 
do not know, nor have ever heard, of any gold bronze being in the 
market, which will not tarnish when exposed to the elements. 

— lOI — 

Kalsomining Old Whitewashed Ceilings. 

Whether it works well or not, it is unsafe to put kalsomine over old 
lime whitewash or old kalsomine, because of the tendencv to flake. 
Kalsomine is stronger in its binding properties than ordinary lime 



40 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. ' 

wash, therefore it requires a strong ground. To remove old lime, wash 
or kalsomine is often a difficult and expensive task, and it is better to 
bind the old coating down before beginning to apply the kalsomine. 
To do this effectively, proceed as follows : If the walls or ceilings have 
been whitewashed, and it does not pay to take it off, wash the surface 
with strong vinegar and, when dry, give a good coat of glue size or, 
better, two thin coats, applied fairly warm, and have the room as 
warm as possible. This makes as good a foundation for kalsomine 
as can be had on old lime wash. On old kalsomine that cannot well 
be removed, apply one or two good coats of alum and glue size, which 
is prepared as follows : Dissolve one pound of white rosin soap in hot 
water, after slicing the soap fine, soak one pound of white sheet glue 
in cold water until soft, pour off the surplus water, sxir the glue and 
put In boiling hot water until the glue is thoroughly dissolved and 
liquid. Now dissolve two pounds of alum in hot water, then stir the 
liquid glue and soap water together and add the alum solution. Then 
thin the mixture with warm water to working consistency. This^ 
makes a safe ground on which kalsomine will work very well. 

I02 — 

Kind of Linseed Oil Used in Grinding White Lead. 

So far as we know, raw linseed oil or bleached linseed oil is com- 
monly employed for that purpose, because boiled oil would tend tO' 
discolor the product. 

— 103 — 
How Chamois Skins Should Be Treated. 

Chamois skins should never be left in water after using, but should 
he wrung out and hung up to dry, and spread out carefully so as to 
leave no wrinkles; neither should they be used to wipe soft colors, 
because paint stains form hard spots and help to wear out the skins 
more rapidly. Neither should the hands be wiped on chamois skin, 
as it is liable to become greasy thereby. Never put the skin in hot 
water — nothing more than lukewarm, as it will curl up and become 
tough. If a chamois skin has been ruined by paint or grease, it is 
recommended to soak it in a bucket of soft, clear water, to which has 
been added a gill or two of ammonia, over night, and next morning 
rinse it out in pure water, after which use freely of white castile soap 
and water. This process need not require ovr fifteen minutes' time, 
and it is said' that when so treated the skin is of better service than 
a new one, because it has been broken in and is free from lint. 

— 104 — 
Preparing Kalsomine. 

Dissolve one pound white sheet glue in hot water, after it has been 
soaked in cold water. ]Make a saturated solution of alum in water, 
then mix 25 pounds of bolted English clifTstone parts white in water 
to a stout paste and add to this the alum solution, then add the liquid 
glue and test the mixture for its binding properties, and if it does not 
bind well add more glue and let it stand to cool. If the kalsomine is 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 41 

to be tinted, use distemper colors, i. e., colors that have been ground 
fine in water, but avoid colors that are affected by lime, such as chrome 
yellow, chrome green, Prussian blue, etc., and the tinting colors should 
be added to whiting, mixture before the glue is put in. To determine 
whether the tint is satisfactory, dip a piece of paper in the mixture and 
let it dry. When ready to apply it thin with cold water to required 
consistency and use good kalsomining or wall brushes. Lay your 
work off evenly and avoid laps. If an edge dries, stop and wet it up 
with a clean brush and clear water and do the same where you have 
missed a spot and finish up with kalsomine. Should your kalsomine 
dry too fast, slow it up with glycerine, say one-quarter pound to two 
gallons kalsomine, for in that case you have too much glu6 and alum 
and your kalsomine is liable to crack and flake. Practice a little about 
your shop or your own house, and you will soon determine the proper 
relation between pigment and binder. 



— 105 — 
Darkening of Oil Paint on Exposed Surfaces. 

A painter undertook to paint the front of a dwelling having a south- 
ern exposure; the surface being old plaster in good condition, never 
before painted. The contract was for one coat of boiled oil and two 
coats of paint of a doe brown tint. Good kettle boiled oil was used 
for priming, and two days were allowed for drying. Pure white lead 
tinted with umber was used for the second coat. This was given two 
days to dry, and was followed by the final coat, also of pure white 
lead, tinted with pure oil colors. The weather was dry and the job 
looked fine when finished, but when the sun shone on it the next morn- 
ing, great dark spots began to appear, and two hours afterward the 
whole surface looked as if coated with graphite paint. The next day 
the painter gave another coat of the paint, followed by the' same re- 
sult. The two following days were cloudy and rainy, and the paint 
went back to the color as originally applied, though a trifle bleached. 

We would say that the turning of the paint to dark gray may be 
traced to sulphurous substances in your lead or oil, and you should 
have made a trial with other lead and oil, and if this gave a different 
result your first material should be examined by a competent chemist. 
It is just possible that you are depending too much on the brand of 
your lead for its purity, but it is well known that the term "Pure 
White Lead" on a package does not necessarily mean pure, and that 
only the name of a corroder on the package is a guarantee of purity. 
It is scarcely possible that in your case the change was due to sulphur 
gases and we believe that the cause is to be found in your material, 
and most likely in what you call pure white lead, because you say 
that after a few cloudy days the tint lost its gray black color and re- 
turned to the original condition, though a trifle bleached. If you have 
bought your material from a reputable, house, they will gladly help 
you to ascertain the cause of trouble, but if you have used poor mate- 
rial you will only have yourself to blame. 



42 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. - 

— io6 — 
Gilding Letters Cut in Soft Stone. 

Stop the suction in that part of the letter that is to be gilded with 
one or two applications of shellac varnish; then give .one good coat 
of oil color, preferably chrome yellow. If there is any danger of the 
oil color running out over the shellaced surface, give the sides a coat 
of the white of egg or glue size, which may be washed off w^hen the 
gilding is finished. Use fat oil gold size for laying your leaf and do not 
begin gilding until the size has set so well that it will not become dead 
or wipe off when the finger is passed over it lightly, otherwise the gold 
leaf will be drowned and without luster. 

— 107 — 
Paint Blistering on Locomotive Cabs. 

Cabs of locomotives, painted in a cold, damp place, blister, except 
on panels of poplar. Blistering always occurs on panels made from 
old sills of cars, no matter how the paint may be mixed. The painter 
who meets these difficulties also wants to know the best method of 
mixing paint for locomotives. In view of these facts we think the 
blistering due to the damp atmosphere in part and partly to the use 
of shellac varnish and first coating with too oily a paint on top of the 
shellac. That blistering does not occur on panels of poplar we would 
attribute to the fact that poplar is a very soft wood, into which the 
shellac varnish sinks more deeply, giving a less glossy surface than it 
does on the hard panels made from old sills. For the latter purpose 
we would suggest that shellac varnishing as a first coat be discarded 
and instead given a thin coat of lead color, made from keg lead and 
lampblack, thinned with half oil and half turpentine, adding a little 
coach japan. Let this stand a few days, if possible, then give one 
coat of flat lead color, made from keg lead and lampblack, or drop 
black ground in japan and thinned with turpentine only. This dry 
and hard, fill up with knifing lead, where necessary, and putty up. If 
the job is to be rubbed apply your guide coat and rub next day. Then 
give two coats of color ground in japan, thinned with turpentine, or, 
if it must be, your two coats of color and varnish, but we prefer the 
former, it being less apt to blister. If the outside surface of the cab 
is not In bad condition one coat of lead color, flat, is sufficient ; but for 
new work or where the old paint has been removed two coats of lead 
color and two coats of knifiing lead cannot well be dispensed with. 
On the inside of the cab such great care is not required. This can be 
washed down, a coat of shellac varnish given, and right on top of this 
a coat of color in japan and one coat of finishing varnish. 

The painting of the tank is practically the same as for the outside 
of the cab, with the exception that the surface must first be freed from 
scales and rust before the lead color is applied. 

The trucks under the tanks, after being cleaned from oil and grease 
with benzine, may be given a coat or two of good black and varnish. 
The smokestack is best coated with lampblack in oil and japan when 
the engine is in steam, so that the coating will bake on, as that will 



- 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 43 

prevent blistering. The boiler, while still hot, should be given a coat 
of pure linseed oil, and right on top of this, before becoming too hatd, 
a coat of dry red lead mixed with keg lead and oil. All other parts — 
the dome, sand box, driving wheels, fire box and frame of engine — 
should have a few coats of lead color, same as on the cab, then be 
filled and coated with drop black in japan and varnished or finished 
with locomotive black. 

— io8 — 

To Preserve Copper from Tarnishing. 

Pulverize one ounce of hard gum copal, put it into a bottle, and 
add to the powder one ounce each of bisulphide of carbon and benzine 
and two ounces each of methylated spirits and spirits of turpentine. 
Cork up well and shake frequently. This will give a durable, almost 
colorless lacquer, of which, if two or three coats are applied, it will 
j»reserve the copper. 

— 109 — 
Black Ink for Show Cards That Will Not Spread. 

Take one-half pound of white beeswax and three ounces of ivory 
soap. Melt these, and when amalgamated add one ounce dry lamp- 
black. Mix well, heat strongly, and add one ounce orange shellac, 
dry. Heat the mass again, mix well, and when cool bottle for use. 
You will find that you can draw the finest, as well as full lines, without 
spreading. 

— no — 
Repainting of Rusty Tin Roofs. 

If the roof is too far gone, it will be to your discredit to attempt 
to repaint without informing your patron of the futility of the task. 
If, however, the rust has not eaten through the tin, try sandpaper, 
which will generally remove thin layers of rust after which dust off the 
roof, and give a coat of boiled linseed oil or a very thin paint, and this 
dry> give a coat of the paint you usually employ for this purpose. If 
the rust spots are very deep, use equal parts of muriatic acid and water 
to loosen the scale, then scrape it off, wet the spots with soda water 
and rinse with clear water, after which proceed as above. 

— Ill — 

To Make Varnish Dry Without Luster. 

Dissolve one-fourth pound white or yellow beeswax in a pint of 
turpentine in a steam bath, same as glue is dissolved. It is best to 
slice the wax first, as it will dissolve more readily that way. When 
this is added to one quart of varnish, the mixture will dry nearly flat. 
If an eggshell gloss is desired, only half the quantity of wax and turps 
should be added to a quart of varnish. The wearing properties of the 
varnish are not injured by this addition. 




44 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

112 

Making Two Coats of White Paint Cover on Yellow Pine. 

As yellow pine is very difficult to cover in two coats with white, 
because the paint must not be laid on stout on account of the ten- 
dency to peel, it is best to follow the advice which has been most suc- 
cessful when carried out properly, and that is to prime first with a 
mixture of 7 parts pure linseed oil and i part pure pine tar, which 
must be well rubbed in. When this is dry, follow with one coat of 
pure white lead, thinned with pure raw linseed oil and very little drier, 
to which is added enough good lampblack to throw it off the white to 
a slightly gray cast. This coat must also be brushed out well, to pre- 
vent blistering, and when thoroughly dry and hard give the final coat, 
which should be made a little stouter than the first coat and without 
any coloring matter. It is essential that the lead and oil be pure, as 
adulterated paint will not stand on such work, nor would it give the 
body required, unless applied so stout, that it would be 'sure to peel. 

■ — "3 — 
Alum in Wall Paper Paste. 

Alum in paste will, not injure the colors in the paper or the 
paper itself, unless it is used in excess. To a bucket of paste, 
that consists of four pounds of flour, two ounces of alum is sufficient. 
Select the clear crystal alum for the purpose, as the other grades are 
too strong. For pasting papers on glossy surfaces omit the alum from 
your paste, but add instead about one-half pint of clear syrup to each 
gallon of the flour paste. The alum and the syrup serve a similar pur- 
pose, i. e., to avoid the striking through of the paste and thereby 
staining the paper. Another point must also be observed, that of the 
consistency of the paste. On a rough wall use it stout, on a smooth 
wall comparatively thin. The only paper that might be affected by 
alum in the paste is gilt paper, and in such case it is well to omit the 
alum and use a little carbolic acid to keep the paste from souring. 

— 114 — 

Paste for Pressed Paper. 

Take two pounds of flour, mix with enough lukewarm water to 
the consistency of thick cream, add one ounce of powdered crystal 
alum, a pinch, say one-quarter ounce, of pulverized rosin and one-half 
ounce white sugar of lead, also powdered. Now add boiling hot water 
and stir until the paste is thoroughly cooked and shows adhesive prop- 
erties. Use stout on rough walls and thin on smooth walls. 

— US- 
Finishing a Dining Room and Parlor. 

The most attractive finish was desired for the walls and woodwork 
of dining room and parlor in a house costing about $2,000; the ques- 
tion was also asked whether it would be in good taste to finish both 
rooms alike. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 45 

The first question is rather difficult to answer, as the writer does 
not state the nature of the wood, nor whether he desires to paint or 
paper the walls. The prevailing style is to give a natural finish to the 
woodwork and have the walls in light tints, harmonizing with the tone 
of the finished wood, or to stain the woodwork with some fanciful 
pigment stain, generally forest green, with dull green wall paper or 
tint for the walls. Forest green enamel for the woodwork is also in 
style. When this scheme is employed, it is in perfect taste to have 
the dining room finished in a similar manner, especially if the twa 
rooms communicate, though it would perhaps be better to have the 
tints of the dining room walls a little deeper. At any rate, there should 
be no decided contrast. 

— lie- 
Filler and Paint for Iron Castings. 

Mix 3 parts by weight of keg lead that is fairly stiff with 5 parts 
black filler, 2 parts whiting and 5 parts silica or silex, which make mto- 
a stiflF paste with a mixture of 2 parts each of ordinary rubbing varnish 
and coach japan, and i part of turpentine by measure. If not dark 
enough to suit, use dry lampblack to deepen. Use this paste as a 
putty for the sandholes and other rough places, pressing it in firmly 
with the putty knife and level off. For surfacing, thin this paste to- 
brushing consistency with turpentine only, and apply it as a paint; 
sandpaper when hard. As many coats of this should be applied as 
are required to give a smooth surface, and each coat sandpapered. 
This surface will resist a fair atnount of heat, but it is not actually 
fireproof. For that purpose a putty made from litharge and glycerine, 
or a putty made of i part dry litharge, 2 parts black filler and 3 parts 
fine iron filings, mixed with silicate of soda (waterglass) will serve 
best. Of course, these putties will not do for surfacing. For finishing 
over the surfaces any good paste paint of the proper color, when 
thinned with one-third coach japan and two-thirds turpentine, will 
give a good eggshell finish. For gloss finish thin the paste with one- 
third coach japan and two-thirds varnish or boiled oil. 

— 117 — 
Durable Stain for Shingles. 

^ We take it for granted, in considering this, that you do not consider 
first cost, but that you wish to prepare oil stains that will wear well 
and will not fade or look unsightly for a reasonable period. We would 
point out that a pigment stain is the most durable in point of perma- 
nency, and that aniline colors had better be avoided. If the shingles 
are for roofs from which water is to be collected into cisterns for 
drinking purposes colors with lead or copper bases should not enter 
into the stains in quantity. To make the stain use earth or mineral 
colors chiefly that are ground to the utmost degree of fineness, as 
these only will hold up well in a stain and thereby effect a very de- 
cided saving in the final cost. If the stain is wanted for dipping the 
shingles into, all that is necessary is to break up the oil color or oil 
colors with equal parts of boiled linseed oil and liquid dryer, then thin 
to the consistency of water with benzine, and keep the stain well stirred 



46 7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

while dipping the shingles. For brush work, treat the colors in a simi- 
lar manner, but thin with turpentine and have the stain somewhat 
heavier. The principal point about a stain is to use as little pigment 
or color as possible, but have that little of greatest possible staining 
power. Accurate figures cannot be given ; proportions must be ascer- 
tained by practice. The red and brown oxides, umbers, siennas and 
Vandyke brown are best adapted for yellow, brown and red stains. 
For the various green tones mixtures of lampblack or umber, strong 
ocher and Prussian blue had best be used, and chrome* yellows and 
chrome greens be omitted for reasons given above. 

— ii8 — 

Mixing Dry Red Lead with Linseed Oil for Painting Iron Structures. 

A great deal depends on the purity and fineness of the dry red lead.. 
|but we should say that 25 pounds of pure, dry red lead should be 
thinned with one gallon of pure raw linseed oil, by stirring the oil in 
graduall}^ and should the mixture become lumpy it should be strained 
through a piece of wire cloth or paint strainer. This will make one 
and a half gallons of stout paint, which, when brushed well into the 
iron structure, will not fun. If the job is to be hurried, a gill of feood 
oil drier or turpentine japan may be added to the mixture. If the 
iron be fairly smooth and plenty of elbow grease used, such paint will 
cover 700 square feet one coat to the gallon. 

— 119 — 

Coating Lead Water Pipes with Paint. 

As paint will not stand on wet or damp metal, you must drain the 
water out of the pipe and let it dry. Then apply a coat of best coach 
or sf)ar varnish, thinned with plenty of turps. When thoroughly hard 
apply same paint as is used on the walls, but be sure you have the 
pipe drained and dry every time you apply a coat of paint. 

— 120 — 
A Quick Drying, Serviceable Floor Paint, 

If first cost is not objectionable, we know of nothing better for old 
floors than to add some dry mineral paint, as ocher, Indian red, umber, 
burnt sienna, etc., to shellac varnish, and thin this mixture with 
enough alcohol to make it spread freely and allow of laying it off. It 
dries so rapidly that a second coat may be given one hour after the 
first has been applied. Two hours after applying the second coat the 
floor should be flushed with clean, soft water, and in about ten minutes 
it should be mopped up with a soft cloth. Wood alcohol shellac var- 
nish will serve as well as grain alcohol shellac, and wood alcohol may 
be used for thinning. 

— 121 — 
White Lead in Oil Hardening Under Water. 

A painter, who bought white lead in 250 pound kegs, kept water on 
top of the lead after opening package, but in a few days found a thick 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 47 

crust or gummed-up layer on top that had to be run through a hand 
mill before it could be used. 

The answer to this is very simple. Your so-called white lead is 
not pure lead. It is, no doubt, a mixture or zinc and barytes, which 
will not stand water, but will set hard under its influence. If you 
ask the party who sold you this white lead, he will tell you that you 
must put oil on top, in place of water, and give you some plausible 
reason why this is necessary for that particular brand. If you are 
paying for pure white lead you are being imposed upon ; if not, you 
should have known that you must not use water. 

« 

122 

What Is Whiting Composed Of? 

Whiting is prepared from white chalk or carbonate of lime, large de- 
posits of which are found nearly everywhere, especially in England 
and France. This white has a soft and earthy fracture and is without 
polish. It leaves a mark and adheres to the tongue without any greasy 
feeling. It has sometimes a yellowish cast, but is more frequently 
grayish, seldom a clear white. Contains a small portion of silica and 
sometimes traces of clay, magnesia or iron. The best of brands are 
those known as English Cliffstone and American Paris White. Com- 
mercial or common whiting is usually very gritty and very much off 
to the gray in color. 

— 123 — . 
Method to Soften Japan Colors That Have Become Hard in Collap- 
sible Tubes. 

If the colors are gummed up merely, work them out on a slab with 
muUer or spatula, adding turpentine gradually, until working con- 
sistency is obtainable. If necessary, strain them to free the color from 
particles of skin. Should the colors have become solid in the tubes, 
cut the tubes and remove the color, and cut it up in small particles 
and saturate these with chloroform or coal tar benzole. When soft- 
ened work out with muller or spatula, and allow solvents to evaporate 
before adding japan or varnish. If benzole is used, be careful to have 
no light or fire near, as it is very inflammable. Should any of the 
colors, as in the case of lakes or vermilion, be badly livered they may 
as well be thrown away, as good work cannot be done with these. 

— :I24 — 

Roughstuff for Carriage Work. 

We present the following: No. i. Equal parts of Reno Filler and 
white lead in oil, by weight, made into a stout paste with equal parts, 
by measure, of coach japan and quick' rubbing varnish. This paste is 
thinned for use with turpentine. Two coats may be applied per day. 

No. 2. Mix 5 pounds Reno Filler with 2 pounds white lead in oil, 
and give enough rubbing varnish and coach japan to make a stiff paste, 
which reduce to proper consistency with turps. Only one coat of 
this should be applied on the same day. 

In making roughstuff with white lead in oil have the latter fairly 
stiff ground. 



48 7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

— las — 
Waxes for Glazed Papers. 

We are not familiar with the special treatment of waxes that are to 
be used on glazed papers, but would say that, with some slight modifi- 
cation that may be required after a trial, the following method may 
answer as well on glazed paper as on other kinds. Dissolve paraffin 
wax in benzine in a hot water bath, and apply the warm solution to 
the paper with a sponge, laying the sheets between flannel cloth to 
absorb any surplus. For quick work the paraffin wax may be dis- 
solved in carbon disulphide, when the paper will be ready in five min- 
utes after solution is applied. 

If both sides of paper are to be waxed, the paper may be dipped into 
the, solution, but the sponge treatment is giving better results. 

Another method is to lay the paper flat on a smooth table and go 
over it rapidly with a heavy hot iron, against which is held a piece 
of white beeswax or paraffin wax which, melting, runs down on the 
paper and is absorbed by it. 

— 126 — 
Finish for Hardwood Floor That Will Not Show Scratches. 

Good alcohol shellac varnish, when properly applied,, will dry so 
hard that it cannot be scratched readily, and when suitably colored 
will not show white marks, even when scratched. Here are two for- 
mulas for making shellac varnish that admit of free working and easy 
application. To 5 pounds bleached shellac add 2 pounds Venice tur- 
pentine (the clear goods are best) and 16 pounds 95 per cent, alcohol 
(grain or wood alcohol, or a mixture of the two). Put all in a large 
glass jar or earthen crock and cork well. Shake occasionally or stir with 
a clean wooden paddle until all the shellac is dissolved, and the var- 
nish is then ready for application. If desirable, some earth color, like 
sienna or. ocher or umber, may be added to the shellac, but these 
must be impalpably fine and of the strongest staining power, because 
only very little should be used to prevent the varnish from becoming 
too opaque. 

If a darker varnish is equally suitable, as it should be for oaken 
floors, especially dark oak, the solution may be made with 4 parts 
orange shellac, 2 parts Venice turpentine and 18 parts of 95 per cent, 
alcohol, to which color may also be added. In both cases the Venice 
turpentine has the function of imparting elasticity to the varnish and 
to permit its being spread uniformly and its being laid off evenly. 
Better make a test in the shop first on similar wood, and if too stout 
to work freely, thin with more alcohol until satisfactory spreading 
property is attained. For hardwood finish, if a little coloring matter in 
the varnish is desirable, it should be of the rich, transparent sort, so 
as not to hide the grain of the wood too much. Two coats will make a 
very hard, durable finish on a floor, and though somewhat expensive 
finish for floors, it has many advantages over fat varnish ts. 



7J9 PAINT ^ QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 49 

— 127 — 

Sizing Burlap or Canvas Walls for Painting. 

The surface of a burlap-covered wall has had several coats 
of kalsomine or other water paint; therefore it will first be neces- 
sary to ascertain the binding property of the old paint. If in good 
condition, you may begin to paint as you would on a hard plastered 
wall, omitting glue size, using pure white lead and raw linseed oil for 
first coat, and following up as is your custom for the succeeding coats 
in gloss or flat work. If the old work is chalky, however, it should 
be broomed down thoroughly and then a coat of glue and alum size 
given or a coat of suction varnish, such as is offered by many varnish 
makers, will also answer. In making a glue size for this kind of work, 
use 2 oz. of alum to every pound of glue, and have your size thin and 
fairly warm when applying it. 

— 128 — 
Silking, or Enameling, of Varnish. 

F. B. Gardner, formerly superintendent of. the varnish department 
of Brewster & Co.'s renowned carriage works, in New York City, de- 
fines this deviltry in varnish as follows : Silking, or enameling, defines 
a varnished surface, which, on drying, assumes the appearance of silk 
or pressed leather. He says that it may be caused by varnishing in a 
room where the temperature is below 70 deg. F., or where there is 
draught; or it may be caused by the addition of turpentine to the 
varnish without allowing it to stand long enough to amalgamate with 
the oil and gum in the same. We would add to this that varnish 
applied on damp, humid, sticky days, or the use of a brush from which 
the oil has not been thoroughly removed or the mixing of different 
brands of varnish will also bring about this condition of surface, and 
that the only remedy known is to remove the objectionable coat by 
rubbing down with pumice and water. 

— 129— I ; 

Filler to Answer for Both Hard and Soft Woods. 

The very best filler that we know of for this class of work is shellac 
varnish, but we take it for granted that you want a shellac substi- 
tute, something that will cost you far less than shellac varnish. 
Take, say two pounds ground silex or the same quantity of 
finely pulverized china clay, stir into this one pint of good liquid 
drier, beating the mass thoroughly ; then add gradually while stirring 
three quarts of extra light hard oil finish or a good, pale furniture 
varnish ; let stand awhile and then strain through a fine sieve. If too 
stout to work freely, thin with spirits of turpentine. The silex or 
clay must be bone-dry. 

— 130 — 
Testing Linseed Oil for Presence of Mineral Oil. 

To detect the presence of mineral oil in linseed oil, place some of the 
suspected oil in a large test tube, and add to it a concentrated solution 



50 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

of soda or potash, shaking it well ; then adding some warm water and 
shaking again. Le»c the tube stand undisturbed about twenty or thirty- 
minutes and the mineral oil, if present, will separate from the soap 
which has been formed by the linseed oil and soda solution. 

— 131 — 

Wall Paper Loosening on Hard-Finished Walls. . 

The application of glue size and sugar is required only for 
preparing painted or varnished walls and not for plastered walls. The 
walls of a kitchen are apt to be smoky, if not greasy, and should have 
been cleaned instead of applying the size.' A good, thin flour paste, 
with about two ounces of alum dissolved in water to a bucket of the 
paste, put on as thin as possible, just enough to cement on the paper, 
is sufficient for a wall that has no suction ; but where the wall is soft or 
porous, the paste must be put on thick. The vapors generated in a 
kitchen will soften the size and loosen the paper. 

— 132 — 
Matt Gold in Glass Gilding, with Burnished Outlines. 

Lay the leaf which is to form the matt gold center in the ordinary 
way in varnish size, and you will find that on the opposite side, in con- 
trast with the burnished gold, it will appear decidedly dead or flat. 
The outlines that are to be burnished are laid in isinglass or gum arable 
sizes, which is applied with a clean camel's hair spalter, the leaf laid 
on, the glass set up edgewise, and when dry the leaf is rubbed briskly 
with refined cotton until the desired luster is obtained. Then a second 
leaf is laid in the same manner, and when dry rubbed over lightly ; then 
washed repeatedly with sizing to secure a spotless surface. Now it 
ib ready for the design, if such is desired. 

— 133 — 

Preparing Painted Walls for Wall Paper. 

When painted walls are to be papered they should first be well 
cleansed with suds made from white Castile soap and warm water, such 
suds to be applied with a wall brush, scrubbing lightly, and then 
sponged with clear water, using a large sponge, and dried with 
chamois skin. The next important point in papering painted or var- 
nished walls is the preparation of the paste, which must differ from 
that used for plastered walls, inasmuch as alum must not enter into its 
composition, and requires an addition of gummy binder to that of the 
starchy nature wanted for other work. Make a wheat flour paste, as 
usual, but omitting alum, instead of which add to an ordinary bucket 
of paste a solution of three sheets of isinglass in one pint of hot water 
and two ounces refined glycerine, or if the isinglass cannot readily be 
obtained, use one pint of best golden syrup in its place. By following 
the foregoing suggestions there need be no fear of the paper not stick- 
ing permanently unless other causes, such as continual dampness, aris- 
ing steam vapors, etc., should be removing agents. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 51 

— 134 — 

How Should Graining Color Be Prepared? 

For graining in oil, thin your paste colors with boiled oil and turpen- 
tine. If it does not flow well, add a little soap or whiting. For dis- 
temper, have your colors ground in pulp form in water, and thin with 
stale ale or beer. In winter time, to keep the color from creeping, 
rub over the groundwork with common whisky before beginning to 
apply the color. 

— 13s — 

To Clean Soiled Wall Paper. 

First thoroughly dust off the walls and ceilings wherever the paper 
to be cleaned may be. Tie up two quarts of wheat bran in a coarse 
flannel cloth or bag made of flannel and rub it over the paper briskly, 
taking care to miss none of the space. 

— 136 — 
Polishing Paste for All Kinds of Metal. 

The following is highly recommended as a first-class cleaner of brass, 
copper, nickel, etc.: Pulverize one part by weight of oxalic acid, 15 
parts peroxide of iron, and 20 parts rotten stone ; mix and sift to re- 
move any and all grit; then rub this with 60 parts palm oil and 4 parts 
vaseline to a smooth paste. Apply with flannel or other soft cloth and 
polish in the usual manner. 

— 137 — 

To Make Cloth Waterproof and Elastic. 

Take one-half pound pure Para rubber, cut into small pieces and 
dissolve in enough disulphide of carbon to make a liquid mass of the 
consistency of thin syrup. Also melt two pounds of rosin, and add to 
this two gallons of oil, previously boiled with litharge; in other words, 
heating the oil and rosin together; take from fire, and before the mass 
becomes quite cold, add the rubber solution. Should this composition 
dry too slow, add some good drying japan, sufficient to dry in 36 or 
48 hours. The mixture should be applied warm, and if too thick, heat 
it in a sand or water bath without direct flame. The cloth must be 
previously soaked in a solution of alum and water. Any drying color 
may be added to this mixture. 

-138 — 
Proper Preparation of Wax Finish m Color. 

Proceed for the priming and subsequent coat or coats same as for 
an oil color finish, thin for thin coat, with equal parts of oil and turps, 
adding enough beeswax, that has been dissolved in turpentine, to give 
a dead sort of gloss. 

In order to obtain a surface thoroughly uniform, some water is 
added to the paint, which, on brushing out, lies over the surface like 
dew and allows the workman to paint without laps or shiners, because 
it does not permit the turpentine to evaporate quickly. Should the 



52 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

surface be uneven in spite of good workmanship, a coat of sour milk 
or buttermilk is said to remedy the defects. 

— 139 — 
Silvering on Glass and Bronzing on Glass. 

1. To produce a mirror it is best to use quicksilver, proceeding as 
follows : Lay a piece of tinfoil on a smooth and perfectly flat surface 
and pour mercury over it to the depth of one-eighth of an inch. Have 
the glass plate to be coated perfectly clean and dry, and slide it gently 
over the mercury, just a trifle below its surface, and when glass is well 
covered, hold it under pressure for a while and then stand it on edge 
to drain. 

2. To silver on glass for sign work, the following is highly recom- 
mended : 

Solution A. — Dissolve twelve Troy grains of Rochelle salts in boil- 
ing water ; then add, while boiling, sixteen grains nitrate of silver that 
have been previously dissolved in one ounce of water ; continue to boil 
ten minutes longer; then add enough water to make twelve ounces 
in all. 

Solution B. — Dissolve one ounce nitrate of silver in ten ounces of 
water; add liquid ammonia, drop by drop, until the brown precipi- 
tate is nearly, but not quite, dissolved; then add one ounce of grain 
alcohol and sufficient water to make twelve ounces. Mix equal parts 
of solutions A and B thoroughly ; pour the mixture on the glass, which 
must be wet, but free from grease, etc. It is best to first clean the 
glass with moderately strong soda water and have it well rinsed. 

The solutions should be made with filtered or distilled soft water, 
and the mixture be allowed to stand a few days before using it. It 
will keep for a long time when bottled and well corked. This process 
will also answer for mirrors, but is more expensive than No. i. 

3. See also No. 71. The sizes given for laying gold leaf on glass 
will answer for gold bronze as well, and the brilliancy of the burnish 
will depend to a great extent on the quality of the glass to which the 
bronze is applied, and on the grade of your bronze powder. 

The quicker the bronze hardens on the glass, the brighter will be 
the effect, but it must not be expected to successfully rival gold leaf. 

— 140 — 

Difference Between French Yellow Ocher and Ordinary Americaa 

Ocher. 

The selected grades or brands of French ocher are highly valued, 
because of their uniform bright yellow color, which, without the ad- 
dition of chrome, give a natural chrome yellow tone, or at least the 
nearest approach given by earth colors. Neither this tone nor color, 
nor the fine, smooth working properties of the selected French ocher 
has yet been attained by American ochers, at least not in appreciable 
quantities, and therefore the value of French ochers is twice, eveft 
thrice, as high as that of good grades of American ochers. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 53 

— 141 — 
Killing Knots in Wood. 

Alcohol shellac mixed with red lead will do the work well 
on inside work; glue size and red lead and gutta percha, dis- 
solved in ether, ar« also well spoken of. But where the sun's 
rays have free access, either inside or outside, all these preventa- 
tives fall short of the mark. The sun will draw the pitch and make it 
show through paint in spite of all these precautions. Even sizing the 
knot with oil size and laying a leaf of gold or silver over it, has failed 
in some cases. For fine work, it is best to place a hot iron over the 
knot, and when a good portion of the sap has come out and been re- 
moved by scraping, lay two leafs of gold or silver over it, and this 
will be found a sure cure. 

— 142 — 
To Paint Ornaments or Letters on Cloth Covered Books. 

Dissolve gum shellac in 95 per cent, alcohol at the rate of one pound 
of shellac to three pints of alcohol, and mix with it any dry color de- 
sired. If it becomes too thick, thin with more alcohol. This works 
free, does not bleed out, imparts brilliancy to the color and wears well. 
Will also answer on paper. 

— 143 — 
Flatting of Tuscan Red Trimming Color. 

Tuscan red is composed chiefly of oxide of iron, enriched by the ad- 
dition of lake, and all oxide of iron pigments have a tendency to go 
flat, unless the undercoats are thoroughly hard and dry before finish 
is applied. Not only that, but a glossy coat over high gloss will always 
give a dead appearance, same as a flat coat is apt to show up glossy 
when put over too flat a ground. 

Therefore, hold your groundwork for the trim semi-flat and do not 
use turpentine in your finishing coat of Tuscan red, and for extra pre- 
caution, add a little exterior varnish, but let it be good varnish that 
contains neither rosin nor benzine. 

— 144 — 
Papering a Wall Paper and Paint Store. 

Advice is asked as to the best way of papering a double store ; the 
front part to serve as a salesroom, the rear part as a display and stock 
room. 

No, we would not advise you to paper both sides alike, 
especially as you state that they are connected only by a small door, 
having a wall between them. We would suggest that you have the 
front part or salesroom papered in light tints, both for walls and ceil- 
ing, with a border representing a fairly deep molding, selecting the 
tint for walls so as to set off store fixtures as well as the goods to best 
advantage, and yet have the whole harmonizing and pleasing to the 
eye. It is impossible for us to give you an idea as to color from this 



54 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

distance, and you had better rely on your own taste in that particular. 
As to the rear part, we would suggest a somewhat deeper tint and 
plain paper, without designs or ornaments, so as not to interfere with 
the effect in exhibiting the various wall paper designs, etc. A pearl 
gray or silver gray tint would probably be the best background for this 
room. Light must be the chief consideration in a display room, and 
this must influence you in your selection. 

— 145 — 
Lettering on Cotton Fabric. 

Size the surface only, where the letters are to be placed, 
with a weak solution of gelatine or white sheet glue, to which a little 
glycerine has been added in order to keep it elastic. The lettering 
should be done with tube colors, which are to be thinned with pure 
boiled linseed oil, in which has been melted some pure beeswax, say 
one-half pound of beeswax to one-half gallon of the oil, and sufficient 
spirits of turpentine to make the color dry semi-flat. This is impor- 
tant, as it will keep the color from peeling and yet elastic enough to 
prevent it from breaking. 

Each 'succeeding coat should be held even a little less oily, and this 
treatment will answer for linen, shirting, etc., as well. The principal 
point is to prevent the color from striking through the fabric as much 
as possible, therefore it must not be too oily. If the letters are to be 
solid, use opaque colors ; if they are required to be transparent, select 
transparent colors. As to the brushes, use similar to those used in 
fine sign writing. 

— 146 — 

Oak Staining in Various Styles. 

Various effects in staining oak may be had by any of the following 
treatments, the solutions or decoctions being repeatedly applied, until 
the desired effect is obtained : 

1. Lay on liquid ammonia with a sponge or brush. The color thus 
given to oak does not fade. When dry, rub over with spirits of tur- 
pentine ; then fill and varnish. In place of the liquid ammonia bichro- 
mate of potash dissolved in cold water will serve as well and give a 
richer effect. 

2. Whitewash the dressed oak with freshly slaked lime, and when 
dried rub off the dry lime with a stiff brush thoroughly and dress with 
boiled linseed oil. 

3. Apply a strong solution of common soda, givng two coats. Sand- 
paper lightly and finish with linseed oil. 

4. To darken oak, German cabinet makers use very strong coffee, 
and to give a very dark effect they put iron filings into a mixture of 
equal portions of sulphuric acid and water, applying the resulting so- 
lution repeatedly until satisfactory. This stain penetrates deeply into 
the wood. 

5. A strong decoction of green walnut shells will bring oak to any 
dark shade desired, even to black. 



7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 55 

6. Sixteenth century finish or antique oak may be produced by 
sponging oak with a mixture of equal parts of sulphuric acid and 
water, or by staining it with finely powdered raw umber in thin shellac 
varnish. 

7. The golden oak finish, so prevalent in furniture, is obtained by . 
staining quartered oak with a mixture of two parts coach japan, one 
part best turpentine asphaltum varnish and two parts turpentine. The 
wood is then filled with a paste filler, that is colored with burnt umber 
and a little dropblack, and finished in the usual manner. 

— 147 — 
Tools Required for Gilding and How to Burnish Gold Leaf. 

The tools required for gilding on glass, wood or iron 
are very few in number. A camel's hair spalter for applying the 
size to glass and a sable hair pencil or brush for wood or iron, es- 
pecially heavy sign work. A so-called gold knife with long, slender 
blade for cutting the gold leaf books, a *'tip" for lifting the 
leaf, made of two pieces of paste board, between which a 
small quantity of camel's hair is laid and glued together; 
a cushion made by laying a piece of cotton on one side of an 
oblong piece of wood, 6 by 8 inches, over which is tightly stretched a 
piece of chamois skin, to lay on the leaf. A good, soft duster, a piece 
of crayon chalk, a tracing wheel, a pouncing bag, some refined white 
cotton and the necessary pencils and brushes for shading and backing 
up, complete the outfit. The burnishing is done with the cotton.. 

We would recommend the "Gilders' Manual" as a book of reference. 

— 148 — 
The Best Paint for a Tin Roof. 

We have referred this question to a thoroughly experi- 
enced painter, who says: "There is a great diversity of opinion on 
this subject, and it is a difficult task to give an impartial answer. Me- 
tallic brown has been the orthodox material for roof painting these 
many years, and it has given the utmost satisfaction wherever I have 
employed it, providing the roofs were in fit condition to be painted. 
Failures with metallic brown cannot often be laid at the door of this 
material, but must be looked for in the thinners, or in the bad condition 
of the tin. Rust once formed cannot be arrested by a coat of paint, 
no matter how good that paint may be, nor can it be expected that the 
thinning of a good pigment with rosin or mineral oil or other sub- 
stitutes for linseed oil will tend toward the longevity of the paint under 
any conditions. Any one who knows what trash some tin roofers 
employ for first coating new roofs will not be surprised when the best 
of material gives way. 

"I have tried Venetian red and have had as good results as from 
metallic brown, but I have always used standard brands, ground in 
paste form by reputable manufacturers, never any snide stuff that was 
loaded with barytes or other worthless base, such as marble dust or 
clay. Have also used graphite, but this has been so recent that I can- 
not pass an opinion as to the probable outcome. A brother painter is 



S6 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

very enthusiastic on the subject of liquid coal tar for tin roofs and 
points with pride to some jobs that he did with coal tar, with which he 
mixed some heavy boiled linseed oil, thinning with heavy naphtha, 
but the jobs ahe rather young yet, not over a year old, at most." 

— 149 — 
Treatment of Hard Maple Floors. 

If the floors are well dressed and smooth » sandpapered, proceed 
by giving two or» three coats of white shellac varnish. For first 
coat use the shellac varnish rather thin, so as to make it spread more 
freely. This treatment will give your finish as good a wear as it is 
possible to obtain. 

— 150 — 

Paint for Metal Ceilings. 

The first thing to do is to clean the ceilings before re- 
painting with soapsuds to which a little ammonia may be added, 
scrubbing brush, sponge and elbow grease and a good rinsing with 
clear water and sponge afterward. If there are no defects in the paint, 
such as chipping or scaling, any paint, such as is used for inside work, 
will serve the purpose, and it depends on the use of the room in ques- 
tion whether lead paint or zinc paint should be employed. In a drug 
store or laboratory, pure zinc white should be used, while for school- 
rooms, halls, stores or saloons, white lead can be applied with safety. 
If two coats* are to be given and the color of the ceilings is to be in 
delicate tint or in clear white, the last coat should be zinc white in 
any case. The mixing of the paint, of course, depends on the finish 
wanted, flat or glossy, and is the same as for any other ceiling or wall 
work,^ that is simply to be recoated. 

— 151 — 

White Lead Unsuitable for Priming Iron Work. 

That white lead in oil does not make a good priming paint 
for iron is certain, but the subject is too extensive a one to be 
explained in these columns. White lead does not have the oxidizing 
influence on linseed oil that red lead has, and therefore it does 
not become so hard and cement like, nor has it the opacity of red lead. 

White lead makes a porous paint with linseed oil, and the more 
hydrate of lead is present, the more porous the paint. Red lead, on 
the other hand, is an oxide of lead, and acts on linseed oil as a strong 
drier, making a practically non-porous paint. Mixtures of two parts 
of red lead to one part of white lead are now much in favor and 
seemingly giving excellent results. Trials have so far advanced that 
engineers in the East are almost universally adopting this material for 
the priming and second coating of structural iron. Oxide of iron as 
priming for iron work is losing its hold very generally and is used 
only by those who look to cheapness rather than durability. 



7i9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. $7 

— 15a — 

Painting a Frame House in Colonial Style. 

A house that has been painted pearl gray body, deep maroon trim, 
Venetian red sash and bronze green shutters, is to be painted in Colo- 
nial style, with yellow body and white trim and sash and green shut- 
ters. The owner will not pay for more than two coats. 

For first coat on body of house use strictly pure white 
lead tinted a decided buft with French yellow ocher, thinning with 
two-thirds raw oil and one-third turps, holding the paint stout and 
brushing it out well so as to cover. For second coat mix 80 parts pure 
white lead with 20 parts good American zinc white, tinting to the de- 
sired shade with medium chrome yellow or lemon yellow and ocher, 
thinning with pure raw linseed oil and a little liquid drier. For the 
trimming and sash use for first coating pure lead with a trifle of lamp- 
black, just. enough of the latter to throw it off the straight white, 
thinning also with twp-thirds raw oil and one-third turps. A little 
drier will be found necessary for these first coatings. For finishing 
coat use with the pure lead about 15 per cent, zinc white and thin with 
raw oil and a little liquid drier. If this looks somewhat yellow on ap- 
plication, it will bleach out white on drying. For the shutters any 
good chrome green will cover well in two coats. 

— 153 — 

Dressing for Renewing Old Carriage Tops. 

Unless you use quite a great deal of leather top dressing 
we should advise you to purchase it ready made, because it will not 
pay you to set your shop or house on fire, and the melting of asphaltum 
is quite a risky piece of business for a novice in the art. We shall 
give you the least costly formula for a black enamel dressing for old 
canvas or leather tops, as follows: Melt 25 pounds asphaltum with 
one pint of boiled linseed oil ; take your kettle a good distance from 
the fire, and before cooling, thin with turps or with equal parts of 
turps and benzine to the consistency of thin varnish. If on cooling it 
does not work freely, use more thinners, and if it does not dry quick 
enough, add sufficient coach japan to insure drying. 

— 154- 

Painters' Measurements and Prices. 

We can give general rules only for measuring, and you 
will have to exercise your judgment as to conditions of surface. So, 
for instance, if the sidmg has deep impressions, add 50 P^r cent, to the 
area of surface; for rough weather-boarding, etc., allow double mea- 
sure. Window and door framies, in and outside, also double. Venetian 
shutters, double the measure of plain work. Window sash is to be 
measured square. Corner strips on frame houses, if painted with a 
different color from siding, to be double. Cornices should be allowed 
50 per cent, to the actual measurement. The prices per square yard 
for ordinary tints are 10 cents for first coat, 6 cents for second coat 
and 4 cents for third coat. For solid colors, like blue, chrome yellow, 
chrome green, etc., 14 cents for first, 10 cents for second and 8 cents 



58 7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

for third coat. For deep green, bronze green and vermilion, i6 to 20 
cents for first and 12 to 15 cents for second coat. 

For good jobs of graining, $1.00 per yard, including groundwork, 
is allowed, with a leeway of 25 to 35 per cent., according to the amount 
of labor or quality of color required. We are unable to give you the 
price charged per roll for hanging wall paper, as that depends very 
much on the conditions of the walls, as well as on the quality of the 
paper; and we think that you might be the better judge of that after 
one or more trials. 

— 155 — 

Cheap Method of Gilding Chairs, etc. 

The question was asked how the gilt chairs are made that are sold 
for less money than gold leaf can be put on for. 

The chairs in question are not covered with gold leaf, but 
with a first-class gold bronze. They are first filled with wood filler, 
smooth sandpapered and the gold bronze applied in the wet way. Be- 
fore this has a chance to set hard, dry bronze is rubbed over the sur- 
face with cotton until a burnish is obtained that almost equals gold 
leaf in luster. Many housewives buy gold bronze and liquid for this 
very purpose, and obtain very fair results in ornamentation, which is 
all that is wanted in gilt chairs, etc. 

-156- 
Deodorizing Lubricating Mineral Oils. 

To each gallon of the oil add three ounces chloride of 
lime; put the mixture in a wooden cask and while stirring violently 
add one ounce of muriatic acid to ea<ih gallon. Keep on stirring, so 
as to bring all of the oil in contact with the chlorine gas. 

Now pass the oil into another cask containing dry slaked lime, which 
absorbs the free chlorine gas. The oil is then drawn off and may be 
flavored with oil of myrbane or synthetic oil of thyme (organum), 
both of which are comparatively strong and cheap. 

— 157 — 

Making Vermilion Dipping Paint. 

So you would like to have a formula to make a satisfactory 
vermilion dip, hey? So would many another man in the paint line. 
You do not state whether you want a flat or a gloss dip. In the first 
place, you require a vermilion that has the best orange mineral, not 
ordinary red lead, for its base ; next you want to avoid the use of make 
weight material, such as barytes, clay, silica or marble dust in connec- 
tion with your vermilion, and if inferior, cheapening base must be 
employed, select one of light specific gravity. Now, if the dip is to 
dr>'' flat, grind your pigment in a good coach japan (that is free from 
rosin) and raw linseed oil and thin with turpentine. If it is to be 
thinned with benzine, however, grind in raw oil and break up the paste 
with a liquid drier that will not curdle oil and thin with deodorized 
benzine Tnot gasoline). Under no condition, however, make more at 
any time than can be used in, say, forty-eight hours. 



729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 59 

Dipping vermilions for one coat dipping to dry with gloss are fakes 
and will not only partly settle, but will clog and become a liver, unless 
used as soon as made. The varnish usually employed will not act 
well with pigment containing oxide of lead as base. 

There are pigments that will hold up better than vermilion in the 
red group, but these are more expensive and lack body to such an ex- 
tent as to prevent their use. 

— 158 — 
Papering a Parlpr with Beamed and Panel Ceiling. 

In a parlor, the side walls of which are to be papered in white and 
gold relief and the brick breast brought up in white enamel, the ceiling 
is beamed the length of the room and paneled between, the side beams 
being lower than those in the middle of the ceiling. 

From this description it would appear that the architect has 
intended to carry the cove moulding at the bottom of side beams 
round the entire room, casing up the end walls flush with the plaster, 
so as to avoid the unfinished appearance of butting the beams into the 
plastered walls, but the carpenter has probably misunderstood the 
drawings. There are several methods to partially overcome the diffi- 
culty : 

1. Use no frieze, but carry the wall paper up as far as the plastered 
wall continues, cutting in between the beams. 

2. Carry the frieze round the room about 18 to 24 inches below the 
lowest beams. Above this use a ceiling paper that matches the side 
walls, cutting it in between the end of the beams, and either tint the 
ceiling panels with distemper or use a plain tint paper. 

3. Use the ceiling paper for the frieze; keeping the picture moulding 
at the level of the top panels of the doors. The frieze can then cut in 
between the beams. 

— 159 — 

Graphite Paint for Smokestack. 

Opinions differ on this point, but we would prefer graphite in boiled 
oil to coal tar or asphaltum varnish, unless the stack is to be very 
glossy and jet black, in which case we should use a high-grade elastic 
black varnish. 

— 160 — 
To Keep the Polished Tops of Bars and Counters in Good Condition. 

Mix one pint boiled linseed oil with one-half pint of strong vinegar, 
and after cleansing the bar or counter tops with lukewarm water, take 
a woolen cloth saturated with above mixture and rub briskly over all 
parts of the top until clean and polished. 

— 161 — 

Attaching a Block and Fall to a Smokestack. 

An iron smokestack of the height of fifty to sixty feet is gen- 
erally of a fair diameter, and has knees or brackets riveted on inside 
on which to get to the top. A man climbs up on these and takes 



6o 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

with him a rope, one end of which he throws to the ground, and then 
pulls up hooks, block and fall. If the stack is not provided with brack- 
ets in the manner described, it will be necessary to have extension 
ladders or scaffold. 

— 162 — 
Getting Dirt out of Varnish Brushes. 

After soaking the brushes for a few days in raw linseed oil, 
get a good sized unplaned board, not tpo rough, fill the brush and 
work out on the board, bearing on hard. This will cause the dirty 
oil to ooze out at the butt end of the bristles, which should be wiped 
off quite frequently. Continue the treatment for about fifteen min- 
utes, then wipe dry and work into some varnish remnant. Work out 
over the fingers, getting well into the butt. With a brush cleaned out 
this way, even a beginner can lay a clean coat of color and varnish, 
and after a week's steady use the brush should be clean and broken 
in well enough to do any job of varnishing. When not in use, the 
brushes should be placed in a dust-free brush keeper. 

— 163 — 
Cheap Method of Frosting Glass. 

The cheapest method we know of is to dissolve epsom salts in 
gum arabic water and let it stand over night. To use it lay your 
glass flat and flow on the solution ; then when it is about to set, pounce 
or lay off. Another method is to use sugar of lead ground in equal 
parts of damar varnish and turpentine, and stipple it on the glass. To 
do a good job by either method requires practice. 

— 164 -r- 
Brick Stains, How to Prepare. 

To stain the bricks on a building to correspond with new bricks in an 
addition : Take fine sand, that has been washed clean and dried, and 
mix with a like quantity of good Portland cement in water fairly stout ; 
then add dry Indian red or Venetian red and yellow ocher until the 
proper color is obtained. Then thin down to the consistency of ordi- 
nary whitewash and apply with wall brushes, taking care to keep the 
stain well stirred while using. For buff or cream colored brick stain, 
use yellow ocher of the required shade and depth as coloring matter, 
adding commercial whiting or slacked lime, if very light shades are re- 
quired. 

-165- 
To Climb a Flagpole Without Climbing Spurs. 

We have seen men climb poles over 100 feet in height 
without anything but their stockings on, while others came down 
again in a hurry before they were up 25 feet. It depends on your 
agility and gymnastic training, as well as your physical ability. If 
you are lacking in these qualities you had better remain on the ground, 
unless it pays you to erect a scaffold. But why not use the climbing 
spurs, as a flagpole is painted from the top downward and the marring 
could be obliterated. 



r39 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 6r 

— 166 — 
How to Prepare Deeply Penetrating Ebony Stain. 

Much depends on the nature of the wood that you desire to stain^ 
Soft woods will take the decoctions readily, while the hard woods 
have great resistance. 

For hard wood, such as walnut, boil 40 parts by weight of gall nuts, 
4 parts of rasped logwood, 5 parts of copperas and 5 parts of verdigris 
in soft water for at least one hour; strain the mixture through linen 
and apply to the wood while warm. Then give it four coats of iron 
filings that have been dissolved in three times their weight of vine- 
gar. Must also be applied warm. For soft wood, a stain made by boil- 
ing together over a slow fire one gallon vinegar, one-half pound cop- 
peras, one-quarter pound Prussian blue, two ounces nutgalls and two- 
pounds extract of logwood, and then adding a half pint measure of 
ferric oxide, will do the work, if applied warm, after straining. 

— 167 — 
Good Putty, How It May Be Prepared. 

To make your own putty without the required machinery is a te- 
dious and wearisome job. Glaziers' putty is made of whiting and raw 
linseed oil; at least pure putty should be so made. It requires S$. 
pounds of whiting and 15 pounds of linseed oil, and to make it prop- 
erly take bolted American Paris White and mix it with oil as stiiF 
as you can, then take this soft dough and add more whiting, which can 
only be incorporated by pounding the mass with, a stout club or 
wooden mallet. When stiff enough so that it will not adhere to your 
fingers, set the mass aside for a few days to give it what is termed 
sweating, then pound again, and if still too soft add more whiting and 
incorporate it by continued pounding. If the putty is wanted for quick 
drying, use boiled instead of raw linseed oil, or use one pound dry 
white lead to every nine pounds of whiting. 

Much of the putty sold is composed of the most ordinary kind of 
commercial whiting or marble dust and an admixture of linseed and 
mineral oil, and lacks binding properties. 

— 168 — 
Marble Polish and Cement for Marble. 

Melt in .a hot water bath one pound of Chinese or Japan 
wax or camauba wax ; when melted, add one gallon spirits of turpen- 
tine and take from the bath, stirring until cool, then add one pint of 
gold size by stirring it well in. Apply to the dry marble and rub with 
a soft cloth until the desired polish is obtained. The gold size may be 
omitted, but the polish will not be as brilliant or as durable. To make 
it wear well rub daily with a dry cloth. 

To cement marble to marble, mix sifted oyster shell lime and finely 
powdered gum arable with water to a fairly stout mush, which apply 
in thin layer to both fractures and press firmly together, then allow to- 
remain undisturbed for twenty-four hours and remove with a sharp- 
knife the part of cement that has been squeezed out. 



(>2 T39 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 169 — 
Cleaning Paste for Show Windows. 

We can recommend the following paste as an excellent 
means for cleansing plate glass: Dissolve one pound of castile soap 
in three pints of water by boiling over a slow fire, stirring continu- 
ously until the soap is thoroughly dissolved. Allow to cool somewhat, 
but while still lukewarm stir into this soft soap as much as is needed 
to make a homogeneous mass of a powder, mixed in the following pro- 
portions: 12 ounces prepared chalk, 9 ounces French or Vienna chalk 
and 6 ounces fine tripoli. Pour the mass into moulds to set. When 
using, rub onto a moistened cloth, sponge or chamois, apply to the 
glass and let it become fairly dry, then rub off with soft cloth or cham- 
ois skin and wipe clean afterward in the usual way. 

— 170 — 
Mixing Grold Bronze for Striping on Kalsomine. 

Dissolve gum shellac in 4 parts by volume of grain alcohol, 
then add your gold bronze, i part of the dry powder in 3 or 4 
parts of the solution. Go over your stripe again when the first appli- 
cation has dried and work as rapidly as possible. When your striping 
is well done you can burnish it by rubbing with wash leather. 

— 171 — 
Will Oil Paint or Enamel Paint Stand on Whitewashed Brick Walls? 

Required to paint a wall in a brewery that is washed almost daily, 
with gloss paint. The wall has been white washed, the room formerly 
being used as a storeroom and not subjected to moisture. 

If the whitewash is of the ordinary kind, to which salt, 
etc., has not been added and not extraordinary thick, it will suffice to 
brush the wall down with stiff brooms or brushes, so as to take all the 
loose lime off. If the limewash has had salt or glue added for a binder 
and is therefore too hard to be removed by brooming, scraping will 
have to be resorted to. This done in either case, a thin coat of oil 
paint should be applied, which will sink in and bind whatever lime 
may remain on the wall. Upon this coat, which should be fairly flat, 
the joints should be puttied with a good hard drying lead and whiting 
putty, and over this dry and hard, brewers white or enamel may be 
applied without risk in as many coats as may be required. Whether 
it will stand washing depends on the quality of the enamel or gloss 
paint. 

— 172 — 
Best Way to Fasten Burlap on Walls or Ceilings. 

Treat it pretty much in the same manner as you would muslin 
or canvas. If not wide enough to go over the whole space, have 
the various breadths sewed together as carpets are sewed, moisten the 
fabric and begin tacking it on one end or at the top for a partition with 
double rows of tinned or galvanized tacks; six ounce tacks will do. 



739 PAINT QUESTIO^yS ANSWERED. 63 

eight ounce are better. Stretch it out toward the edges and ends and 
use double rows of tacks at ends, around door and window frames and 
at bottom of partition. Do your trimming after it has been securely 
fastened. In panel work on ceilings the burlap is fastened and held 
down by the mouldings, but on large plain partitions it is well to tack 
it here and there to keep it from sagging by its own weight. 

— 173 — 

.Removing Paint from Blinds and Shutters. 

Required to remove paint from outside blinds that are badly alli- 
gatored and cracked, having been painted twenty years or more before. 

We should advise you to unhinge the blinds, take them 
to some convenient placfe and burn off the old paint, which, with the 
proper lamp and scraper, can be quickly accomplished, leaving a good 
surface to repaint on. This is the quickest method we know of. Or if 
you do not care to resort to burning, or to buy one of the many paint 
removers offered, you may use a strong solution of concentrated lye 
and water to soften the paint and then scrape it off. In this case you 
will have to wash the blinds thoroughly, allow them to dry and then 
sandpaper them, which is quite a job and much more troublesome than 
the burning-off process. 

— 174 — 

Fire and Weather-Proof Paint. 

We have not a great deal of faith in the fire resisting 
properties of paint that contains oil in any form, and believe thorough 
impregnation of wood the only real safeguard. However, we give a 
formula as follows : One part by weight each of salt, alum, waterglass 
and tungstate of soda are mixed with four parts by weight of unslaked 
lime and ground in raw linseed oil to proper consistency for applica- 
tion. Three coats make the wood fire-proof, and it is claimed that the 
paint has stood the weather for nearly thirty years. 

— 175 — 

Colorless Spirit Varnish for Labels, Whitewood, etc. 

Dissolve five ounces bleached shellac in one quart of 95 
per cent, grain alcohol. When well dissolved, add one-half pound of 
granulated animal bone black that has been heated to drive off mois- 
ture that may be present, and boil all in a water bath for five minutes. 
Now filter a small quantity through filter paper, and if not colorless 
enough add more bone black and boil again. When test turns out 
satisfactory, filter the hot varnish through silk first and through filter- 
ing paper. In place of the grain alcohol methylated spirit may be 
used, if the odor is not objectionable. The varnish must be applied 
quickly, as it sets very rapidly. 

— 176 — 
Best Material for Free Hand Relief. 

For interior work the following has been found to work 
very nicely : One pound of plaster paris, one-quarter pound dry white 



64 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

lead and two teaspoonfuls of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) are 
intimately mixed with water to a thick paste, and immediately fill the 
rubber bulb and proceed to work out the design, that you have pre- 
viously marked out. You can tint this material to any tint or color 
desired by mixing the necessary quantity of dry color with the plaster 
pans. The bicarbonate of soda is added toTceep the material from set- 
ting too quick, and while it is still wet you can sprinkle brocades or 
bronze powder over it. 

If you desire to use color that will not stand soda you can add pul- 
verized marshmallow root in place of the baking soda, say one-half 
to three-quarters "of an ounce to each pound of plaster of paris. 

— 177 — 
Guarding Against Fires in Paint Shops. 

This question is a timely one in view of tlie inflammable 
nature of the material stored in the shops or storerooms, and the care- 
less or rather thoughtless manner in which many shops are taken care 
of. While fires, even with the utmost carefulness, cannot always be 
prevented, many of them could be traced directly to the loose way in 
which simple precautions are neglected. Strict regulations for the em- 
ployees and strict supervision will minimize the risks. Rules should 
be made for and enforced in every shop, enjoining the utmost cleanli- 
ness and care for rubbish, oily or greasy waste or rags, and airtight 
metal receptacles should be provided for their deposit during the work- 
ing hours, while at quitting time such matter should be removed from 
the building. Working clothes, such as overalls, etc., should not be 
permitted to remain in the shop, unless provision be made in the shape 
of metal lined, tightly closed chests or closets. Dry lampblack must 
not be allowed to be stored otherwise than in covered metal packages. 
Nor should oils, varnishes, liquid driers, turpentine, benzine, gasoline, 
benzol or alcohol be permitted to stand about in open cans or pots. No- 
open light in the shape of lanterns or lamps should be permitted to be 
carried into or used in the shop. Smoking in the shop or carrying a 
lighted cigar, cigarette or pipe into the shop must be prohibited at all 
times. If the shop cannot be heated by any other means excepting 
stoves, the stoves should be placed as far away as possible from the 
place where the paints, oils and volatile thinners are stored. 

If the shop cannot be lighted by electricity and light is indispensa- 
ble at. times, safety lamps should be used, but turpentine, benzine, etc.,. 
should never be drawn from their receptacles with the aid of an un- 
protected light. Paint mixed reacjy for use and left over in pots should 
be well covered, especially those in which volitile thinner or varnish 
is introduced. Stoves must be as much as possible surrounded with 
sheet zinc and care taken not to overheat the same. 

-178- 
To Finish a Parlor in White, Trimmed in Gold 

We should say that with gold trimmings the white finish 
should be neither a dead flat, nor should it have too high a gloss. It 
should have a soft velvety finish that is produced by rubbing dovrtt 



7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 65 

the final coat of varnish with water and rotten stone. The usual 
method is to give three coats of white lead, flat ; each coat is smooth 
sandpapered when dry. Next one coat of equal parts white lead and 
zinc white, which when thoroughly hard and dry is rubbed down very 
smooth. Then a coat of French zinc white in damar varnish, thinned 
with turpentine only, is applied, and this dry, the same mixture, to 
which is added some good pale varnish, is used as the final coat of 
psiint. Then a coat of best damar or other white varnish, to which a 
-trifle of zinc white in damar is added to kill the yellow cast of the var- 
nish. When the work is to be gilded or bronzed, however, the zinc 
white must be omitted from the varnish. After rubbing down the fin- 
ishing coat of varnish with water and rotten stone, the surface should 
be rubbed with sweet oil until dry, having the soft and uniform ap- 
pearance of velvet. 

— 179 — 
Staining Redwood a Dark Green, and Filling Redwood. 

As you are to match furniture that has been finished in 
green, you cannot employ the usual method of using a verdigris solu- 
tion in strong vinegar, but must make up a pigment oil stain. Not 
knowing the exact tone of the green you wish to match, we cannot give 
you a formula for the colors required to produce the stain, but would 
give you the following as a guide : 

Take chemically pure chrome green in oil as near the shade of the 
green on the furniture as it is possible to obtain it, and if not dark 
enough, add Prussian blue or drop black, or both of these. Break up 
the color thoroughly with japan or liquid drier to the consistency of 
thick cream, then thin with pure spirits of turpentine until it is as 
liquid as a thin varnish. Strain through cheesecloth or very fine sieve,, 
and test the resulting stain on a piece of redwood. Afier the stain has 
been applied with the brush, it is allowed to set and then wiped out 
with a piece of soft cloth, and the effect can be varied according to the 
length of time allowed before wiping out. The color of the varnish 
must also be taken into consideration in matching the stain, and the 
stain must not be applied after the redwood has been filled. If it is- 
intended to fill the redwood, it must be done after the stain has dried,, 
and the best filler for the purpose in this c^se is to take one ounce of 
the green that has been used in making the stain, about a tablespoonfut 
of raw linseed oil and two tablespoonsful brown japan and one quart 
of turpentine, mixing thoroughly and beating into this one pound of 
cornstarch, and strain through a paint strainer. Apply with a brushy 
as you would varnish, and let it stand fifteen or twenty minutes, and 
rub off the surplus filler with excelsior or soft rag, then allow the sur- 
face to remain undisturbed for at least twenty-four hours. Now give 
one or two coats of white shellac varnish, which, after hardening, rub 
down with flint paper and finish with as many coats of varnish as you 
can afford to give. For a first-class job, two coats of shellac should be 
given after staining and filling, and two or three coats of rubbing var- 
nish, then it should be rubbed with pumice and water, cleaned off after 
standing a day with a chamois, rubbed with water and rotten stone. 



66 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

Standing again a day, washed clean as beforei then rubbed with olive 
oil until dry. 

To fill redwood for natural finish, use the filler as described above, 
with the exception that the one ounce of green is omitted and a few 
ounces of burnt sienna substituted. The filler tends to harden the 
fiber of the wood, and the finish should be similar to that outlined 
above. 

— i8o — 
Glass Embossing and Silvering on Glass. 

Don't expect the formulas given will always work at sight or on the 
first trial. When an experiment fails to produce the result looked for, 
it is best to study over the formula and then think a while over the 
matter and find out, if possible, what omission may have caused the 
failure. You might have had better success if you had used formula 
No. I in No. 139. Your solution may have been wrong or your glass 
not clean enough. It ms^y be well for you to employ Draper's method, 
as follows: Dissolve separately '500 grains Rochelle salts in 3 ounces 
of distilled water, and 800 grains nitrate of silver, also in 3 ounces of 
distilled water. Add silver solution to one ounce of strong ammonia, 
until brown oxide of silver remains undissolved. Now add alternately 
ammonia and silver solution until the latter is exhausted, when a little 
brown precipitate should remain ; then filter the ammonia and nitrate 
of silver solution. Just before everything is ready to proceed with the 
silvering, mix the Rochelle salt solution with the silver solution and 
add enough distilled water to make 22 ounces in all. The glass to be 
silvered should be cleaned with dilute nitric acid or with plain collo- 
dion and tissue paper. Coat a sufficiently large tin pan with equal 
parts of beeswax and rosin melted and fasten strips of wood an eighth 
of an inch thick around the bottom of the pan. Pour in the finished 
solution and quickly put in the glass, face downward, one edge first. 
Carry the pan to a window and rock the glass slowly for 25 to 30 
minutes. Take out the glass and set it on its edge on blotting paper 
ro dry. When thoroughly dry, lay it, face up, on a dusted table. Make 
a rubber by stuffing a piece of soft buckskin loosely with cotton and 
go gently over the whole surface in circular strokes. To polish the sil- 
vered surface, put some very fine rouge on a piece of buckskin laid 
flat on the table; impregnate the rubber with the rouge and rub the 
surface with it for at least one hour, or until surface appears black 
when held in opaque position. It is best to warm the solution and the 
glass before beginning to silver in water heated to 100 deg. F. 

Stencilling or embossing on glass is done as follows : On the flashed 
side of the glass or any side of plain glass, lay a coat of black asphal- 
tum varnish, mixed with dry red lead, say one ounce of the latter to 
one pound of the former. When dry, the stencil or pattern plate is 
laid fiat on the glass over the black, and then a preparation of soft soap 
in hot water is applied with the aid of a stencil brush, well rubbed into 
the edges of the stencil to make it airtight and prevent the turpentine 
getting under the edges of the stencil plate and leaving ragged out- 
lines. Now take another stencil brush dipped in turpentine and rub 
off the black asphaltum, lift oflf the stencil and wash away the deposit 



rS9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 67 

left by the soap and turpentine with cold water. The plate is now 
ready for the etching with "fluoric acid," which is poured over the 
glass and imparts sharp, clear outlines like those of a pattern or sten- 
cil. When the acid has acted, rinse with clear water, and if the em- 
bossing is not clear enough repeat the operation with more acid. Flu- 
oric acid is prepared by pulverizing Fluor or Derbyshire spar and dis- 
solving it with sulphuric acid. It must be kept in lead bottles or gutta 
percha bottles with corks of similar material. Etching on stained 
glass is done as follows : Use the glass that is colored on one side only. 
Pounce your design or letters on the colored side, cut in with black 
asphaltum varnish, to which some wax should be added in a water 
bath and thinned with turpentine. When dry, put a border of bees- 
wax all around the outer edge of the glass and cover all the parts to 
be treated with fluoric acid. Let it remain until the colored portion 
of the glass is eaten through, then pour off the acid and wash well with 
clear water, remove the beeswax and the varnish, and the letters or 
design will stand out clear, while the balance will be of the original 
color. 

— i8i — 

Finishing Radiators in White with Gloss. 

Use old files and wire brushes to thoroughly remove all 
the old paint and loose scales, wash down with benzine and allow to 
dry. Give a priming coat of flake white in japan, thinned with tur- 
pentine only, and allow to dry hard. Next give a coat of French zinc 
in damar varnish, also thinned with turpentine, to which is added a 
little white enamel varnish, say one tablespoonful of varnish to a pint 
of the thinned zinc paint to produce a faint eggshell gloss. For the 
finishing coat use French zinc in damar varnish, thinned to brushing 
consistency with a good pale baking varnish. If heat can be intro- 
duced to bake on every coat, blistering need not be feared, but if heat 
cannot be had until the job is finished, every coat must be given plenty 
of time to thoroughly harden before another is applied. 

— 182 — 
To Remove Fly Specks from New or Filled Woodwork. 

For new woodwork use two parts of ammonia and one 
part spirits of turpentine to remove the specks. The ammonia will 
readily clean off the spots and the turpentine will keep the ammonia 
from raising the grain of the wood. For filled wood take fine sand- 
paper or dry pumice stone, powdered, and rub over the surface lightly, 
then dust. 

— 183 — 

How to Make Quick Drsring Size for Aluminiun Leaf and Gold Leaf. 

A good size, on which the leaf may be laid in four hours, is made 
from two gills of gold size japan and one gill of fat oil. For a twelve* 
hour size, take one-half pint fat oil and a dessertspoonful of gold size 
japan. For gold leaf add to the size a dash of medium chrome yellow 
that has been ground in japan. For aluminum leaf the size may be 



68 7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

m 

used clear or with a dash of flake white in japan. For good work that 
is to wear well and show a good burnish we would recommend the 
twelve-hour size, or, still better, fat oil only. 

— 184 — 
What Is Gypsiuxi? 

Gypsum is not plaster of paris, though made of the same 
material — ^gypsum rock. Plaster of paris is the calcined gypsum rock, 
which is heated to about 300 deg. F. to drive off the water of crystal- 
lization, which amounts to about 20 per cent, of its weight. Gypsum, 
or terra alba, is known to chemists as the hydrated sulphate of lime, 
with the formula CaS04, and when fully hydrated contains 21 per 
cent, of water. It is a useful extender for paints, such as ultramarine 
blue and other colors, and as a base for Venetian red, etc., and is speci- 
fied by railroad chemists for freight car and bridge paints, etc. Plas- 
ter of paris is not permissible as a base in paints because of its ten- 
dency to set hard on contact with moisture, even when mixed with lin- 
seed oil. 

— 185 — 

Bleaching Linseed Oil by Exposure to Sunlight. 

In Terry's "Pigments, Paint and Painting," the statement is made 
that linseed oil may be bleached by exposing it to sunlight ; but an ex- 
periment showed that exposure to sunlight without admission of air 
will not do the work and that oil bleached by air and sunlight will 
turn dark again, when corked in a bottle, in spite of exposure to the 
sun. It requires a certain amount of oxidation in connection with 
bleaching oil by sunlight, otherwise it is merely a settling process. 
Linseed oil can be bleached or refined by various methods, notably by 
filtration through Fullers earth, ocher or bone black. The quickest 
method, however, is the treatment with sulphuric acid and subsequent 
washing by steam. 

— 186 — 

Cause of Paint Fading, Deadening and Sinking In. 

On an old house, which had not been painted for eight years the 
paint was entirely off in certain places on the exposed sides, while 
on the north side and in protected places the paint was still good. 
You painted over all with white lead and gold ocher and, naturally, 
where the wood was bare and very dry it absorbed the oil from your 
paint and left the latter practically dry and dead after a short time, 
while there was no absorption on the old paint. This explains the 
faded appearance in those places. That the new house with the cy- 
press siding should show a like fault is more than we can comprehend, 
unless your oil was really at fault. Did you use strictly pure white lead 
and pure golden ocher and did you have sufficient linseed oil in your 
priming? Much ocher is not a good material to use in priming: 
cypress. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. Gg 

— 187 — 

To Remove or Kill Moss Growth on Stone or Brick Work. 

Wet the surface in question well with water, to which has been 
added 2 per cent, by volume* of carbolic acid. After an hour or so the 
growth can be removed with a stiff brush and clear water. If some 
of the growth should still adhere, repeat th^ operation. 

— 188 — 

The Kind of Oil Best Suited for Mixing Paint for Tin Roofs. 

Unless ygu can obtain good heavy bodie'd kettle boiled lin- 
seed oil, we should strongly advise you to use nothing but pure raw 
linseed oil, to which add a half pint of good oil drier in winter and a 
quarter pint in summer for every gallon of oil. Do not use turps, ben- 
zine or gasoline for thinning if you want the roof well protected, and 
avoid the use of rosin or mineral oils. 

— 189 — 
Mixing White Lead so as to Cover in One Coat on Sign Work. 

If this refers to white lettering, the painter will be able to 
get along with one coat, providing the ground is not too strong, by 
using pure white lead that is ground very stiff in oil, thinning it with 
turpentine only for inside signs, and equal parts of raw linseed oil and 
turpentine for exposed work. The lead must be held, in either case, 
about as stout as artists use it in oil color painting. If white is to be 
the body of the sign one coat of white lead will not be sufficient, no 
matter how heavily applied or what the ground may be. 

— 190 — 
To Prevent Gold Bronze from Turning Brown. 

A painter finding difficulty with gold bronze which he said turned 
a brown drab, asks the reason. 

Just what kind of a color brown drab is we don't know ; we suspect 
it is the coppery hue so prevalent in gold bronzes. You say you fol- 
lowed the directions on the package. We doubt the directions were 
intended for domestic use of the bronze, such as picture frames and 
other work not exposed ; but for signs exposed it won't do to mix the 
bronze with benzine and varnish and then apply it, as it will tarnish 
eve^ry time. The way to get the best result is to take a strong size 
and color it with chrome yellow. Paint the sign with this size just 
as you want it to appear when finished, that is, in shape of letters, etc. 
Then, when the size is nearly dry, just when the tack is perceptible 
to the touch, apply the bronze by dipping into it with a rag and rub- 
bing it on. Thus .the bronze is on the outside of the size. Rub it well. 
Varnish will discolor pure gold leaf. Then, as a matter of course, it 
will tarnish any metal bronze. To varnish over bronze, put on a coat 
of isinglass, then a clear varnish. 



70 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— igi — 

Heating Dipping Paints in Vats. 

The question was asked whether it was advisable to run steam pipes 
into dipping vats to keep the paint warm and make it run or drip more 
freely. 

Although we have no direct experience in that line, we 
may say that the idea strikes us as an excellent one, providing the 
pipes can be so placed that they will not interfere with the proper 
working of the vat, and held at such a temperature that part of the 
paint will not be baked. They will then act the same as a steamjacket 
about an iron or copper kettle or mixer, and act as well or even better 
at less expense. The only drawback to perfect success by this method 
during freezing weather is that if the implements that are to be dipped 
and the room in which they are to be dried after being dipped are not 
of approximately the same temperature the result may be worse than 
if the paint is not warmed at all, because the paint rOn coming in con- 
tact with a chilled surface or being placed to dry in a chilled atmos- 
phere will tend to creep or crawl. If the paint is warmed up to 80 or 
90 deg. F., the temperature of the implements on immersion should 
not be below 65 deg. F., and the temperature of the drying room not 
less than 70 deg. F. We should certainly advise the making of a trial 
on a minor scale. 

— 192 — 
Lime Whitewash — How to Prepare and How to Apply Properly. 

The principal point in preparing lime whitewash is to have the lime 
well slaked. Select good builders' lime, soak it with warm water and 
allow it to fall into fine powder in the open air. Then, if wanted for 
inside and so prepared that it will not rub off, make it very thin with 
water and to every pail add a pint of flour, previously made into starch 
or paste ; or, better still, dissolve two pounds of ordinary alum in boil- 
ing water and add this solution to every two gallon pail of whitewash. 
Apply the first coat very thin, so as to bind it on the wall and the ad- 
dition of alum will prevent the second coat from rubbing up the first 
coat, thereby making a more uniform surface. 

For outdoor work, take one pound of lime and slake it as above. 
Then take one-quarter pound Burgundy pitch and dissolve by gentle 
heat in a pint of linseed oil; now add to the hot lime one gallon 
skimmed milk, then the mixture of pitch and oil a little at a time, stir- 
ring all the while. Finally add three pounds of bolted whiting. If 
to stout to work evenly, add more skimmed milk. 

The addition of one part of salt to three parts by weight of lime, 
or thinning the unslaked lime with the brine of a mackerel or salt her- 
ring barrel, will also make a whitewash with enough binder to stand 
the weather. 

— 193 — 

Varnish to Prevent Brass from Tarnishing. 

Place one ounce of pulverized gum shellac and one pint 
of niythylated spirit in a bottle, which cork tightly. Keep in a warm 



T39 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 71 

place and shake once in a while. When the shellac is dissolved, pour 
off the clear fluid and apply it with a camel's hair brush to the brass, 
which must be well cleaned and polished, and if it is possible, heated 
before the varnish is applied. This varnish can be had very clear and 
transparent by filtering it through asbestos fiber. 

— 194 — 

Removing Spots That are Caused by Water in Ceiling or Walls. 

Take unslaked white lime, dilute with alcohol, and paint the spots 
over with this mixture. When dry, which ensues very quickly, as 
the alcohol evaporates the lime forms an isolating layer; the ceilings 
or walls may be sized and painted in any way and the spots will not 
show again. 

— 195 — 

To Clean Stained Marble Without Destroying Its Polish. 

The following from an excellent authority is highly recom- 
mended. Take equal parts by weight of ox gall, pulverized soap» 
and pipe clay, to which add some turpentine. Apply a thick coating 
to the stained marbk, and when thoroughly dry rub it off and wash 
with soft, warm water. If badly stained, a second application will be 
required. 

— 196 — 
Mixing Asphaltum and Coal Tar. 

An attempt was made to melt black asphalt in its crude or hard state 
and mix it with coal tar and turps, but the asphalt settled to the bot- 
tom in a very few days. 

The best plan is to melt your asphaltum with a small por- 
tion of linseed oil. When liquid, take from the fire to a safe place 
and thin with turpentine or turps and benzine to the consistency of 
thin varnish and allow to cool. Decant carefully or strain through 
a fine strainer into a barrel or mixer and throw away the sediment. 
To the strained asphaltum varnish add the coal tar, which should be of 
the proper consistency so that no more thinning will be required after 
the two are mixed. If the coal tar be too heavy, thin it first with light 
coal tar oil before adding it to the asphaltum. 

There may be several reasons for the trouble you refer to. Your 
asphaltum may contain quite a lot of sandy matter, or your melting 
is imperfect, or you may cut the life out of your mixture by thinning in 
the cold way. If you have both the asphaltum varnish and the coal tar 
of proper consistency before mixings there will be no settling out. 

— 197 — 
The Darkening of Shellac Varnish in Metal Packages. 

To prevent shellac from darkening it must not be kept in 
metal packages such as tin or iron. It may be kept in wood, but stone 
or glass jars are best, and either of them must be very clean. You can 
dissolve gum shellac in cold grain alcohol, wood alcohol or acetone, 
but the former is the only medium that makes a first class shellac 



72 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

varnish. Put four pounds gum shellac in a jar with one gallon 95 per 
cent, grain alcohol and cork up well. Stand in a warm place and occa- 
sionally shake, until the lac is dissolved, which will be in a few days. 
The process may be hastened by placing the jar in warm water first 
and, when well warmed up, in fairly hot water. Shellac varnish so 
made and kept in glass will not darken or blacken and answer every 
purpose. 

— 198 — 
Gilding on Store Windows in Winter. 

Use the same kind of size for laying your leaf as you do 
in warm weather, but see that 3''Our glass is first thoroughly rubbed 
with a solution of one ounce each of nitric acid and acetic acid in one- 
half pint of water, and then cleaned in the ordinary way with soft 
water and whiting, and when the whiting is dry, polish with chamois 
skin. When the gilding is finished and backed up in the usual manner 
and the work has dried hard, go over the whole with elastic varnish, 
running a little over the edge of the letters on the glass, which 
will keep the frost from peeling up the gold. To test drying, take a 
scrap of glass and try your size; if too heavy, the gold will appear 
spotted ; when burnished with cotton, if too weak, the gold will rub off 
under the same treatment. 

— 199 — 
Silvering on Glass. 

When working out a formula do not be discouraged if the 
first or seconcj attempt prove abortive, but sit down and think awhile, 
and perhaps you will find that there is one point or another which you 
have not thought of before and then try again. You state, for instance, 
that you warmed the plate glass to the temperature of the air. This 
is not sufficient, but your glass should be warmed through thoroughly; 
it should be at least 105 deg. F., otherwise the solution becomes chilled 
too rapidly, causing non-adhesion. You may have cleaned the glass 
with ammonia and then with alcohol, and yet it may not have been fit 
to receive the mercurial solution. Try again, giving the glass a first 
wash with aqua fortis, rinse with soft water, dry and rub with finest 
whiting and water, polish with chamois skin, then moisten with alco- 
hol, dry with clean cloth, then warm as above. 

— 200 — 

Drier to Make Linseed Oil Paint Dry in from Three to Four Hours. 

There are paint materials, such as white lead, burnt umber, etc., that 
impart drying qualities to raw linseed oil : others, that are perfectly 
inert, and again others that tend to retard the drying of the oil. In 
order to make linseed oil paint dry, the nature of the pigment that 
enters into the paint should be thoroughly understood, if it is desired 
TO give it life, as well as drying qualities. 

The simple introduction of a drier in the shape of a powder will not 
fill the bill. In order to obtain the full benefit of drying agents, they 
are usually introduced in the oil. while it is being boiled, and for this 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 73 

purpose we have chiefly the lead salts and manganese salts, such as 
red lead, litharge, sugar of lead and lead borate, manganese dioxide, 
manganese borate, manganese sulphate and manganese oxalate. 
Strong driers in pulverized form are also offered to the trade, in the 
various resinates, such as resinates of lead and resinates of manganese, 
and safer driers in linoleate of lead and linoleate of manganese. By 
introducing a sufficient quantity of the resinates into boiling oil, such 
oil can be made to dry in a few hours, but the lasting quality of the oil 
will be shortened commensurate to the quantity of such drier. , 

Oil boiled with red lead or litharge will dry most thoroughly, while 
if boiled with the manganese salts, the oil or the paint in which it is 
used, unless spread in very thin film, is apt to dry superficially only, 
causing the surface to shrivel under certain conditions. 



— 201 — 

Removing Old* Wall Paper Without Destroying or Blurring the 

Pattern. 

It was desired to remove from a room some wall paper over a cen- 
tury old, that was in good condition, as it was desired to save some of 
the paper without blurring the figures. Could this be done by closing 
the room and generating steam by having a kettle of water boiling in 
the room? 

The method you yourself suggest appears to us the only 
feasible one, but we cannot say whether you have any show of success, 
as it depends very much upon the medium, with which this ancient 
paper was attached to the wall. Was it flour paste or was it glue, and 
how strong is the fiber of the paper? We would suggest that you first 
make a test on a small space on a panel, that you do not care so much 
about, bringing your steaming kettle fairly close, and if you succeed 
in loosening the paper here, you can assume that you can do it with 
the rest. We would also suggest that you also try to save the paper 
by direct soaking with water. 



202 — 

Process Employed in Making Chipped Glass Signs. 

While various processes, such as etching with fluoric and French acid 
and chipping by hand have been employed, the sand blast is now very 
extensively used for glass chipping and with far better success than 
is had by other methods, because it limits the area of the chipping and 
makes the edge of the chipped work sharp and definite in the outlines. 
The sand blast process is also used for grinding, frosting, incising, 
embossing and boring glass, as well as stone ornamenting, and in 
frosting or ornamenting various metals. That it is the only method 
for cleaning iron and steel from rust and mill scale is well known. 
Sand blasts are usually operated by a current of air, produced either 
by pressure of vacuum. 



74 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 203 — 

Painting Cypress Lumber for Exteriors. 

Lumber dealers claim that cypress will hold paint on exposed worlc 
equal to white pine, but one painter's experience shows it will not. He 
uses pure white lead, pure raw linseed oil and as little drier as pos- 
sible. While on white pine this paint will remain in good condition 
for five or six years, on cypress the paint invariably scales in from 
eighteen months to two years. 

We quite agree with you, as we have had a very similar 
experience in several instances. When the cypress wood is thoroughly 
seasoned, instead of being kilndried, better results may be looked for 
and then only when the priming is held less oily than is usually done 
for white pine. The builder or owner does not care for the protests of 
the painter, and if he objects too much, the other fellow, who does not 
object, gets the job. Instead of losing a job on that account, it is policy 
to make the best of it. See that the wood is at least fairly dry and make 
a priming of pure white lead in oil, thinned with equal parts of pure 
raw linseed oil and pure spirits of turpentine, adding to this as little 
drier as possible, so that the priming will not dry on top only and 
brush it well into the wood. The paint for the succeeding coat or 
coats can then be thinned with all oil and drier, and applied stout 
enough to cover. By following this method, the paint is not so apt 
to become scaly. v 



— 204 — 
Gloss in Oil Paint to Stand Exposure to AH Weather Conditions. 

Something was desired that could be added to a compound paint 
mixture to make a gloss that would stand outside exposure. Common 
varnish was tried, but was not satisfactory. 

You do not state what the thinners in your compound paint 
mixture are, and therefore you keep us guessing while we could 
answer far more intelligently if you had told us whether you refer to 
an all oil paint or to a paint the thinners of which are composed of oil. 
turpentine and drier, or oil, benzine and drier, and whether you are 
using a saponifier to thicken the paint. In no case will the addition 
of ordinary varnish give you the desired result. If you want to make 
an oil paint that will keep its gloss for a fair length of time on exposure 
you must begin to build up to that end from the very beginning. You 
will have to thin your paste paint or colors in oil with a linseed oi! 
varnish ; in other words, a heavy boiled oil, kettle boiled with a min- 
imum of drier onl3^ 

Many painters, especially when painting seashore and other exposed 
properties, after thinning their paint with oil in the regular way, add, 
for the finishing coat, a goodly portion of first-class spar varnish or 
outside varnish, obtaining lustre of fair durability, but this would 
scarcely be satisfactory to you because of the high cost. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 75 

— 205 — 

To Prevent Zinc White from Becoming Yellow, 

The yellowing off of zinc white on inferior work may be 
traced to several causes, such as carelessness in dusting or cleaning 
of walls and ceilings, preparatory to painting, insufficient ventilation 
and the shutting out of light afterwards, the placing of furniture, etc., 
too close to the walls, but principally to the thinner used with zinc 
white, such as dark oil, dark driers, and the use of too much turpentine 
or the use of varni^ that contains a liberal portion of oil. 

To prevent discoloration it is necessary to have the room well dusted 
and aired and the walls, etc., well washed down with lukewarm water, 
to which a little soap has been added, rinsed with clear water and 
rubbed dry with rough, coarse sackcloth. 

If you can afford it use French process zinc white ground in poppy- 
seed oil, and thin with pure turps only for flat work, but for eggshell 
gloss finish add one or two tablespoonsful of either poppy oil or 
bleached linseed oil for every two pounds of zinc, and in either case a 
dessertspoonful of white japan. If you use linseed oil, take it well aged 
and do not use the sunbleached article. You can age and bleach your 
linseed oil so that it will remain clear and pale by keeping it in open 
bottles or glasses in shady, airy places. 

While the zinc coats are drying the rooms must be aired in order to 
allow the turpentine vapors to escape, and the more time for drying 
is allowed between coats, the whiter the job will turn out finally. It 
is well to suggest that furniture should not be placed against the walls 
until the paint has had a fair opportunity to thoroughly harden. For 
glosswork it is best to use zinc white that has been ground in damar 
varnish, and thin with a trifle of turpentine and bring it to proper con- 
sistency with pale damar varnish. 

— 206 — 

Carbolineum Avenarius an Ideal Wood Preservative. 

"Carbolineum was discovered by * an officer in the Prussian 
Army in 1870 in his efforts to produce a compound which would 
preserve the vineyard stakes in the Rhine valley from decay. 'R. Ave- 
narius, the original inventor, has since made many valuable improve- 
ments and patented the same in all parts of the globe, and very favor- 
able reports of its efficiency as a preservative of wood from dry or wet 
rot have been made to the Imperial Government of Germany, as well 
as by the United States Department of Agriculture. From these re- 
ports it appears that it is adapted for the impregnation of wood sub- 
jected to dry or wet, as well as where dryness and dampness alternate, 
and that it is much more effective than liquid coal tar and more 
economical in the long run, as one gallon will cover 25 square yards 
of rough timber, and because it is a powerful disinfectant as well. The 
American Architect and Building News says of the compound: "It 
has for its basis the best and purest heavy coal tar oils, or dead oil, to 
which are added other powerful antiseptics, including that most power- 
ful of all, chlorine, which induces such chemical changes in the crys- 
tallizable constituents of the dead oil as greatly to add to its efficiency 



76 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. \ 



and penetrability, making the liquid self impregnating and dispensing 
with the expense of a plant and machinery and the transportation of 
the lumber." It may be well to add that in cases where the timber is 
kiln dried and for parts that go under ground, the carbolineum must be 
applied hot in order to make it penetrate more deeply, while on the 
parts that remain above ground in warm weather on air dried lumber 
the cold compound may be employed. 

— 307 — 
What is White Ocher in Oil? 

We do not know what white ocher should be, as we never 
heard of such a pigment or saw it advertised in the lists issued by paint 
makers as an orthodox paint. China clay, among the white pigments, 
is the nearest approach to ocher, so far as its chemical constituents 
come into the question. But it is well known that China clay has but 
little covering power as an oil paint, and therefore it must be taken 
ior granted that white ocher Is the misleading commercial name for 
an inferior white paste paint, on the label of which no manufacturer of 
repute will have his name appear. So far as we have learned, these 
so called white ochers are mixtures of barytes, terra alba, marble dust 
or whiting, with a very small portion of zinc white or lead or both, so 
as to give the paste whiteness, and may be classed with the lowest 
class of fake lead brands, which no sensible painters will touch. It 
will not take many years for him to find out what a mistake he has 
made in priming with such trash, no matter how good a paint he has 
finished with, and we would advise him to leave it severely alone in 
future. 

208 

Enameling a Brick Wall, Laid in Cement, for an Engine Room. 

It is required to paint in oil color, or possibly enamel, the inside 
brick walls of a recently built engine room. 

As you cannot wait for the cement in the joints to lose its 
possible caustic properties, it will be best to make a solution of I2 fluid 
ounces oil of vitriol to one gallon of water, and with this saturate the 
cement in the joints thoroughly, allowing the cement to become dry 
again, when a white porous crust will form, which should be coated 
with pure raw linseed oil until suction is fairly well stopped. If, how- 
ever, the cement is over a month old, a solution of four ounces of bicar- 
bonate of ammonia in two gallons of water may be used in place of 
the dilute oil of vitriol which will prove more effectual and time saving 
because in that case the wall may be primed as soon as the joints have 
diied again. A trial will prove whether the joints are more absorptive 
than the bricks, in which case the joints should be coated to stop exces- 
sive absorption before the wall is primed. For priming we would 
recommend an oily white lead paint with a moderate quantity of drier. 
If enamel is wanted as a finish, the second coat should be held less 
oily and the third coat nearly or quite flat. For the enamel we would 
suggest French zinc in damar varnish, thinned with a pale enamel var- 
nish, tinted to suit. If every coat is allowed to dry hard before the 
next is applied there will be no great risk of the heat affecting the 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 77 

enamel. But while the work is being done the temperature of the roomi 
should not be below 70 deg. F. ; rather warmer, if possible. In select-^ 
ing the varnish for the enamel care should be taken to avoid the use 
of one that is liable to soften under the influence of heat. 

— 209 — 

How to Keep Iron Nails from Rusting in Wood on Exposure. 

Heat the nails to a cherry red and throw them quickly into a pot 
of raw linseed oil, drain off the oil and let the nails become fairly dry 
before use. 

— 210 — 

Baking Enamels and Colored Lacquers. 

Information required about baking enamels and colored lacquers 
for toys of steel, wire and cast iron, which are to be dipped and then 
baked. 

You can obtain sufficient heat by introducing into your 
oven a set of steam coils, because you do not require more than 220 
deg. F. at most, and the size of your steam coils should be in accord- 
ance with the size of your oven. Exhaust steam will serve the pur- 
pose, providing the size of the pipes is large enough and a small jet of 
live steam is also provided for, to be used in addition in case of 
necessity. Time required for baking is anywhere from four to twelve 
hours, according to the drying qualities of your enamel or lacquers 
imder that process. As for the enamel in white or tints, the best base- 
is French zinc, ground in damar varnish, which may be tinted with 
colors to suit, then thinned with spirits of turpentine, to which a good 
pale baking varnish is adjded to give the required luster. For dipping, 
this baking varnish must be short, so as to drip freely. For colored 
lacquers anilines are employed, which are soluble in oil or turpentine, 
and these, when dissolved, are added to the lacquer. To meet with 
success in the preparation of these enamels and lacquers means a long 
and tedious experimenting, and we should advise you to look over 
the advertising pages of this magazine and correspond with the paint 
and tedious experimenting, and we should advise you to correspond 
with paint and varnish manufacturers who no doubt can assist you by 
supplying any material you require. As to handling the articles in 
dipping and conveying the same to the oven, the best method will be 
gained by trial. As we do not know the shape of the articles, we can- 
not advise you on that point, but would say that the paint or lacquer 
must have been well dripped before the article is put into the oven, 
because clots of paint cannot bake on, and would look badly even if 
they did. 

— 211 — 

The Cause of Livering of Colors in Oil or Japan. 

Our space is too limited to give in detail all the causes that lead to 
this very bad feature, which makes paint not only difficult to prepare 
for spreading, but in most cases utterly worthless in point of dur- 
ability. It will suffice to say that the principal cause for the livering 
of paste paints or colors is moisture in the pigment or in the oil, to- 
gether with an overheating of the mills. Next, the presence of resin- 
ous matter in the vehicle that is used with a pigment containing lead! 
base. 



78 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 312 — 

A Paperhanger's Size That Will Not Sour. 

The following size for walls that are to be papered is 
highly recommended: One pound of white sheet glue is soaked iu 
enough water to cover it over night ; then two gallons of boiling water 
and one-half gallon of wood naphtha (wood alcohol) are added and the 
whole material well mixed. This size will not sour under any condi- 
tions and the paper that is applied over the size may be varnished. To 
make the size so that it will retain a tack add a small quantity of pale 
syrup. The glue should be genuine and not mixed with starch or 
white clay. If the size is for walls that have been whitewashed it should 
be applied warm, so as to penetrate thoroughly through the coating of 
whitewash in order to bind it securely to the wall. 

— 213 — 

To Prevent Ceiling Paper Parting on Canvas. 

The best way to cover a ceiling with muslin is to use 
good strong muslin ; have it sewed together in one piece and tack it on 
one side first, using six-ounce tacks ; then on one end and so on, taking 
care to pull it fairly tight, until the remaining side is tacked on. The" 
muslin should invariably be sized before papering, because paper 
pasted on muslin so prepared will not part. 

— 214 — 

The Difference Between Benzine, Gasoline and Naphtha. 

There is quite a difference between the products sold under the 
names mentioned. Benzine, or petroleum spirit, is one of the 
products obtained by the distillation of crude petroleum, by which 
three products are had, namely, naphtha, kerosene and residuum. The 
naphtha is treated with sulphuric acid to refine it, then washed with 
caustic soda, which treatment produces gasoline and benzine. 

Gasoline is a very light, water-white spirit, of very light specific 
gravity, ranging from 0.680 to 0.700, weighing 5f pounds to the gallon 
at a temperature of 60 deg. F. It is used as fuel for gasoline stoves 
and lamps, and in chemical laboratories for extracting the oil from pig- 
ments, and for other special purposes. It is sold in commerce as 72 
^^&-* 75 deg., 78 deg. gasoline, and very often by paint dealers to 
painters in place of benzine. While it makes a good brush cleaner, it 
should not be used in paint as benzine, for the reason that it is even 
more volatile and more inflammable. 

Benzine is less volatile and has a higher specifi :c gravity ; 65 deg. 
benzine has a specific gravity of 0.724, while 62 deg. benzine has 0.732 
and 58 deg. benzine has about 0.750, but 62 deg. benzine is what is 
generally used, and. weighs six pounds to the gallon at a temperature 
of 60 deg. F. It is a limpid, water-white liquid, which, if well deodor- 
ized, has not a disagreeable odor, and a drop placed on a sheet of white 
paper should evaporate, without leaving a stain, in from two to three 
minutes. In paint it is much to be preferred to turpentine, that has 
been adulterated with kerosene oil, unless used in excess. In the West 



7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 79 

m 

benzine is usually known as naphtha, or naptha, which term is really a 
misnomer, because naphtha is a heavy oil, whether it be derived from 
petroleum or from coal tar. 

Naphtha proper may be coal tar naphtha, solvent naphtha, burning 
naphtha, derived from the distillation of coal tar, which yields an oil 
known as dead oil, then a dark brown spirit, known as naphtha or light 
oil, with a specific gravity of 0.900, or 7 J pounds per gallon, on an aver- 
age, with a characteristic coal tar odor, that is anything but agreeable. 
From this oil the coal tar benzols are obtained by redistillations, treat- 
ments with sulphuric acid and washings with caustic soda. The vari- 
ous products are sold as 50 per cent., 90 per cent, or 100 per cent, ben- 
zol, and are powerful solvents for rubber, etc. These benzols will mix 
readily with other solvents, and are good solvents for oils, fats, resins, 
and really the only effective solvents for coal tar pitch and the resid- 
uum of oil stills, and are more volatile than turpentine, without leav- 
ing any residue. For use in ordinary paints it is not practical, on ac- 
count of its high cost and because the ordinary benzine will serve as 
well. 

— 215 — 

Finishing a Bathroom With Aluminum Paint. 

The walls should have an eggshell gloss finish if the 
bronze is to be used over all of the walls. You do not state whether 
you are to cover all with aluminum or only ornament with same. At 
any rate, an eggshell gloss finish will be best. As it is for inside work, 
you can use either a slow drying bronzing liquid, which you can pur- 
chase prepared or prepare it yourself by thinning a good coach varnish 
with benzine to a consistency that will make the bronze work out 
smoothly and freely from the brush. Or if you want to make a quick 
job, dissolve white shellac in methylated spirit and amylacetene, equal 
parts, and add a little fusel oil to make it work freely. The principal 
point is to work quickly and avoid laps. 

— 216 — 
Luminous Paint for House Numbers. 

In answer to a question on the subject, we have the following from 
a very responsible source : 

Numbers simply painted on a house with luminous paint do not 
amount to much, because they soon collect dirt ; but if the numbers are 
left white and the ground work filled in on a piece of glass, and then 
backed up with luminous paper and properly put in a frame, to protect 
the paper from the rain, they will remain good for an indefinite number 
of years. Such frames are now on the mfarket as a regular article of 
commerce, and can be had at quite reasonable prices. 

— 217 — 

Blistering and Scaling of Paint on New and Old Work. 

In building an extension to a residence, the builder took off some old 
clapboards that had been painted with four coats of paint, using them 
along with the new clapboards on the extension. A painter was em- 



8o 7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

ployed by the owner to give the entire extension two coats of paint, 
four weeks later the paint was found to be full of blisters, and the 
owner refused to make a settlement. On the old clapboards the paint 
could be taken off in large shreds clear to the bare boards. 

The defect you mention can be traced only by a full 
knowledge of the condition of the surface at the time when you applied 
your paint. The reason why you were able to take off the paint on the 
old clapboards in shreds is more readily explained than the cause for 
your paint blistering on the new part of the work. On examining the 
scales or shreds of paint you have sent us, we find that the original 
priming coat consisted of ocher or nearly all ocher, and invariably, 
when an ocher priming is applied too heavy or when such priming 
is fatty, it splits and causes scaling clean to the wood. Now the old 
paint may have been loose, without being discovered, when you ap- 
plied your paint or the contraction in the drying of your paint may 
have loosened the old film, or moisture from inside may have caused it 
to loosen its hold on the wood. At any rate, it is evident that the old 
paint had a very poor hold on the boards. As to your paint blistering 
on the new clapboards the cause may be traced to green lumber or to 
dampness in the wood, caused by rain and thought to be dry enough 
to paint on, or by the drying out of the plaster striking through, espe- 
cially when the room is heated to aid in drying the plaster. If you 
will think awhile, you can most likely remember to which of the causes 
mentioned the blistering of your paint may be ascribed. If the owner 
is not satisfied with your explanation, submit it to arbitration, so long 
as you are certain that it was no fault of yours. 

If, however, your paint on the new woodwork has not blistered and 
is intact, it is very plain that the trouble is due to the old paint on the 
clapboards, and you are not in any way responsible for the failure. 

— ai8 — 
Filling Cracks in Plastered Walls and Preparing for Painting. 

If cracks or holes in plastered walls have been filled by 
the plasterer, the plaster consists generally in part, at least, of fresh 
lime. In this case soak the new plaster with strong vinegar and let it 
dry after giving it all the vinegar it will absorb, then go over the same 
places with a size made of two parts linseed oil, one part turps and one 
part japan, and when this is dry and hard, put on a thin coat of white 
shellac varnish over the whole wall before painting. 

When the painter is obliged to fill cracks in old walls that are to be 
repainted, the safest way to proceed is as follows : Cut out the cracks 
in the shape of a V and level the edges, then after cleaning out the 
loose plaster or sand, mix some fine plaster of paris with thin glue size 
and fill up the cut-out cracks with this material to within an eighth of 
an inch of the surface and let it become dry and hard. Now paint 
over the filling and the edges of the crack with a fine pointed brush 
and let this dry, then level up with white lead putty, which is made by 
mixing dry white lead with coach japan and as much glazier's putty in 
bulk, as there is of white lead and japan. When this has dried hard 
take a block of wood and sandpaper, and smooth down the filled por- 
tion, sb as to bring it to a level with the remainder of the wall. This. 



7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 8i 

<lone, the sandpapered portion should be given a thin coat of paint to 
match closely the old paint. If the wall has not been painted before, 
this coat of paint should be white. Treated in this manner, cracks will 
not show through. 

— 219 — 

Testing the Comparative Value of Soap. 

Carefully weigh a piece of the soap to be tested, cut it 
into thin chips or slices, then place it into soft water to which has been 
added a handful of ordinary table salt, set the pot on a slow fire until it 
comes to a boil. Keep boiling until all the soap is dissolved, then set 
away to cool. The soap will eventually separate from the water, is 
then collected, allowed to dry and reweighed. The loss in weight rep- 
resents the amjount of foreign matter present in the soap. Following 
this method with various brands of soap will determine which brand 
has the most value. It is self-evident that it is the one that contains 
the least foreign matter. 

— 220 — 

To Cure Damp Walls in Basements and Cellars. 

A cure was wanted for cellar walls that have become moldy from 
dampness. 

You do not state the cause of moisture nor the condition 
of the walls, whether they are rough or smooth plastered, cemented 
or in the crude. However, we can give you one of the latest methods, 
which is said to be very successful as a cure for dampness and mold. 
If at all possible, a portable furnace is placed in the cellar or base- 
ment and a fire kept therein for at least 36 to 48 hours, while the place 
is ventilated as much as possible. In the meantime 93 parts by weight 
of finely powdered brick dust are intimately mixed with 7 parts by 
weight of fine litharge, and this mixture made into a stout paste with 
pure kettle boiled linseed oil only. This paste is allowed to stand at 
least a day and then thinned with more boiled oil sufficiently to make 
it applicable with a stiff brush. It will take from three to four days 
to dry hard, when a second coat may be applied, if thought necessary. 
The use of volatile thinners and japan driers, however, must be 
avoided in this paint material, and both the brick dust and litharge 
must be bone dry before they are mixed with the oils. 

— 221 — 

Durable Polish for Hard Wood Table Tops. 

The very best polish for the purpose is cold pressed lin- 
seed oil. This is applied with a soft linen cloth which is rolled to- 
gether in bung shape, ahd rubbed uniformly hard and in even strokes, 
until the top has assumed a mirror-like surface. If the polish has 
been long neglected it may be necessary to keep on rubbing tor hours, 
but it is the only sure method to obtain the effect you desire. As it is 
.next to impossible at this time to obtain cold pressed linseed oil for 
love or money, we would advise you to employ in its place the ordinary 
hot pressed raw linseed oil, selecting some that has been well settled 
and clarified by age. 



82 7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

322-^ 

Split Glass Signs, or Frosted Glass. 

Several years ago a new industry was started in Paris, 
France, that of producing hoar frost glass, which is covered with 
feathery patterns resembling those naturally produced on window 
panes in frosty weather. The glass is first ground either by sand 
blast or the ordinary method, and then covered with varnish. This 
varnish contracts strongly on drying, taking with it the particles of 
glass to which it adheres, thereby producing the branching crystals 
of frost work. One single coat gives a most delicate effect, while 
several coats yield a bold design. A more simple method, however, 
is followed in this country. The glass need not be ground in advance 
and instead of using varnish, ordinary glue is employed, which, in dry- 
iiigj splits off irregular patches of the glass surface in the most sur- 
prising manner, giving rise to most charming frosted effects of in- 
finite variety. Where "flashed" glass is used for the purpose (that is, 
a colored glass, having a superficial thin layer of colored glass on one 
side), the effect of the tearing loose of the colored layer in some 
places and not in others enhances the beauty of the resulting frosting. 

233 

Touching Up or Renovating Blackboards on Plastered Walls. 

By all means wash down the surface with strong vinegar 
first to remove all grease and rinse with clear water, using a sponge. 
When dry, touch up all the worn spots with lampblack, thinned with 
turpentine and a little japan. Then give a good coat of drop black in 
japan thinned with turpentine, to which a tablespoonful of rubbing 
varnish for every pint of the thinned material has been added, and 
when this is dry and hard, apply your liquid blackboard slating. If 
you desire to make a quick liquid slating, dissolve one pound of orange 
shellac, dry, in one gallon of 95 per cent, alcohol, into which stir 
one-half pound finely powdered ivory black and one-half pound finest 
flour of emery and mix well. When using the slating stir frequently 
and apply quickly with a fine, flat brush. If too stout to work without 
brush mjarks, thin with more alcohol and when not in use, cork up 
tightly. 

— 224 — 
The Composition of Gloss Oil and Its Uses. 

Gloss oil is a term largely applied in the South and West 
to a mixture of ordinary rosin and benzine. Its manufacture is very 
simple and it may be done in the cold way by powdering the rosin 
and stirring it into the benzine (or naptha, as many are wont to call 
it), until it is dissolved, or. the rosin may be melted in a kettle over a 
fire, then removed to a safe distance and the benzine poured into the 
kettle, under continued stirring. This rosin and benzine varnish or 
gloss oil is mostly employed for thinning very cheap paints, such as. 
are used for coating barrrels and other work where quick drying is 
required, but durability not looked for. It could be employed for 
sizing walls, but we should not advise you to use it because it is almost 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 83 

too brittle and you had better not depend on its use as a wood filler, 
even for very cheap work. For these purposes yotf should have a 
varnish that is prepared with a fair percentage of linseed oil, even if it 
should contain rosin and benzine as its other constituents. 

— 225 — 

Papering on Fresh Walls Over a Size of Rosin Oil and Benzine. 

A new house, plastered with lime and sand mortar, had been 
warmed for four or five weeks, when the painter papered several 
rooms and the hall, using rosin oil and benzine size. The paper came 
oS in a short time and he went over the old size with a weak solution 
of glue and water. A week later the paper again came off, and the 
owner applied to another painter who was at a loss how to proceed.. 

You have a difficult problem before you, and we do not 
wonder that you will not risk undertaking the job. Rosin oil and 
benzine is the worst material that could have been applied as a size, 
because even after the benzine has evaporated, the oil will remain 
tacky, even though apparently hard and the warm temperature of the 
house will keep it so. We would advise you not to undertake the 
job at this stage and give a guarantee, but do it at the risk of the 
owner only. It will be an uncertain undertaking to remove the rosin 
oil from the pores in the plaster, but you might try a solution of 
caustic soda or concentrated lye. Sponge the walls with this, then 
rinse with clear water, then let dry thoroughly, after which apply your 
regular paper hangers' wall size. In using the soda solution wear 
rubber gloves to protect your hands, and use a swab made from cloth 
or waste tied to a broom handle, and let the solution remain long 
enough to act on the rosin oil. This is all the advice we can give you 
on the subject. 

— 226 — 

Making Cheap Mixed Paints Ready for Use. 

There are many ways and means to cheapen paint, either 
by extending the pigment or by employing cheaper thinners. It is not 
advisable, however, to employ any but orthodox materials, such as 
pure white lead, linseed oil and turpentine for priming new woodwork 
in house or sign painting. It is better by far to make use of cheaper 
material for finishing coats, than to believe, as many painters honestly 
do, that anything is good enough for priming. This theory is on a par 
with the building of a house on sand. A brittle material will not suit 
for priming, because it will surely be thrown off after successive re- 
paintings, if not after the first operation. See our suggestions in 
Section 28 on "Cheapening of Paint Material," and in Section 86 
on "Cheap Paint for Rough Work." White lead paint can be cheap- 
ened as a pigment by the addition of bolted whiting or the thinners 
may be cheapened by substituting benzine for turpentine, or by adding 
alkaline water solution to the mixed paint. As to our opinion of the 
value of benzine as a substitute for turpentine would say that if ben- 
zine is used moderately and in smaller quantities comparatively, there 
will be no perceptible effect on the durability of the paint, but we do 



84 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

not want to put ourselves on record as advocates of benzine as a 
substitute for spirits of turpentine. It is a matter of dollars and 
cents, and we cannot blame the painter for using benzine wherever he 
can in place of the much higher priced article. All in all, as benzine 
evaporates completely in the drying of the paint, it is far less injurious 
to paint than the use of adulterated turpentine or of non-drying min- 
eral oils. As to employing water in oil paint we think that its use 
is injurious only when the amount of water used is out of all propor- 
tions to the quantity of linseed oil. A small percentage of water will 
evaporate on the drying of the paint, and it will keep the paint in fair 
suspension and will keep it fromi running or sagging during the ap* 
plication. 

— 237 — 

Filling for Letters in Brass, Zinc and Copper Signs. 

The cement or filling for the letters of metal signs is 
made by mixing intimately equal parts of asphaltum, shellac and lamp 
black. The asphaltum and shellac must be powdered, and the mixture 
is applied by heating the plate and melting in the cement, smoothing 
it off with a warm iron. Scrape off the surplus carefully and hold a 
warm iron over the letters to glaze their surface. Black sealing wax 
will also answer the purpose of filling in, and the treatment is similar. 
If the signs cannot be heated, make a putty from dry lamp black, as- 
phaltum varnish and brown japan and fill the spaces, pressing the 
putty well in with the putty knife, then clear the edges with turpentine. 
When the filling is dry, polish the whole plate. 

All the ingredients given are to be dry; the asphaltum and shellac 
are powdered and intimately mixed with the lampblack, and the mix- 
ture is melted into the letters by heating the plate. When well filled 
and cooled off, after removing surplus, the cement is smoothed with a 
warm iron and the plate polished. 

— 228 — 

Gilding on Glass — How to Do It Properly. 

It is an easy matter for us to tell others how the work 
should be done, but a more difficult matter for others to do it without 
a good deal of practice. However, we shall endeavor to explain to you 
the method by which others do the work successfully. 

Your attention is first called to the proper preparation of your size, 
which may consist of a solution of gum arabic, isinglass or white sheet 
glue. For the gum arabic solution dissolve one-eighth of an ounce of 
gum arabic in one pint of boiling water, filter through blotting paper 
or regular filtering paper, and when cold add a teaspoonful of pure 
white whiskey to keep from molding, and when placed in a bottle well 
corked it will keep for miany months. 

A still better size, but more troublesome to prepare, is that made 
from isinglass. Take a piece of isinglass the size of a nickel and dis- 
solve it in a pint of boiling hot rainwater, 'which must be heated in a 
perfectly clean pan to avoid grease. If any scum arises during the 
boiling or dissolving process, remove it with a spoon. Filter the solu- 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 8$ 

tion through white blotting paper while hot and allow to cool, when 
a tablespoonful of alcohol may be added to take out any traces of 
grease that may still be there. This will also keep for a long time if 
kept in a well corked bottle. While we consider this the best size for 
glass gilding, would say that if isinglass is not handy a piece of clear 
white sheet glue, about the size of a silver dime, may be taken in place 
of the insinglass and treated in an exactly similar manner. The prin- 
cipal point about the size is to have it free from grease and to allow it 
to stand for at least twenty-four hours before using. 

Next important is to see that the glass is pure, for on inferior glass 
good work cannot be done. If the glass be greasy, wash it with a solu- 
tion of one ounce each of nitric acid and acetic acid to one-half pint 
of soft water. Allow this to remain on the surface about five minutes, 
then clean the glass with soft water and whiting, and polish the side 
on which you intend to work with tissue paper. Now lay your 
punctured design on the opposite side from that on which you intend 
to work and apply the size freely with a camel's hair brush or spalter, 
and with a tip lay on the leaf as srrtoothly as possible, allowing it to 
protrude over the edges of the design and permit the whole to dry, 
then burnish with raw cotton. Rub briskly to obtain good luster, no 
matter if some of the gold rubs off, then apply your size for the second 
layer of gold, but not as plentifully as at first, and lay on the leaf as 
before. When dry, burnish again and then go over the work to patch 
up, wherever there is only one coat of gold, by dampening such patches 
with the edge of the brush and laying on small pieces of the leaf, and 
this dry, burnish lightly. If a spotless surface is desired, wash it sev- 
eral times with the size. When dry, it is ready for the design, which 
is now laid right side next to the gold and the outline of the letters 
pounced on with a pouncing bag filled with whiting or Venetian red. 
The backing up may be done with asphaltum varnish or rubbing var- 
nish mixed with lamp black and thinned with turpentine, the latter 
being most permanent. When the backing is perfectly dry, dampen a 
small bit of cotton and rub off the surplus gold, then shade your letters 
backward, laying on the darker shades first, then the lighter ones and 
the background last. Before beginning to work, test your size on a 
scrap of glass; if your size is too strong, the gold leaf will appear 
spotted ; if too weak it will rub off too easily when burnishing. 

To keep gilding on glass from early destruction by frost or repeated 
scrubbings, go over the whole with a good elastic varnish. 

— 329 — 
Paint for Rough Cast Surfaces. 

If the walls have stood for some time, say at least one 
year, and first cost is no obstacle to its use, we would recommend a 
pure lead and linseed oil paint, white or tinted to suit, the first coat to 
be quite thin and oily, the second coat as stout as it is used for a finish 
on woodwork. Should this be too expensive to suit your patron, you 
might use either of the following: Take fine sand that has been 
washed and dried and mix the same with a similar quantity of Port- 
land cement (best grade) in water to a fairly thick consistency, then 
add for a red tint enough Venetian red, for a yellow tint pale French 



86 7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

ocher, for a greenish tint terra verte, for a gray tint lamp black, for a 
bluish tint ultramarine blue, and strain through an ordinary sieve to 
break up any lumps that may have formed. Finally, thin the mixture 
down with water to the consistency of a thin oil paint and apply cold 
with large wall brushes. The wash must be kept well stirred while 
being used. Should the color be too dark, add some slacked lime or 
ordinary whiting, but be careful to use mineral colors only for tinting, 
because of the probable causticity of cement and lime. 

If it is in any way convenient for you to apply a warm paint we 
would suggest the following wash, which has been tried by the writer 
with excellent results: Take a fifty-gallon barrel and place therein 
one-half bushel of builders' lime, fresh burnt, over which pour hot 
water, say about ten gallons, and cover tightly to keep in the steam 
while slaking. Let stand covered over night, then strain the liquid 
through a fine sieve into another barrel and add seven pounds of 
common salt, previously dissolved in hot water. In the meantime 
cook three pounds of rice flour in hot water to a creamy paste and 
ndd this while hot, always stirring well. Five pounds of bolted whit- 
ing are also mixed with soft water to a thin paste and added to the 
liquid. Finally one pound of pale glue that has been soaked in water 
over night is boiled as usual in a water bath and thinned with boiling 
hot water to make five gallons of liquid glue, which is put in with 
the other. Stir well and if the total does not amount to thirty gallons,, 
add enough hot water to make that quantity. Let the barrel stand 
covered for several days more, when the wash is ready for use. The 
wash must be applied fairly warm, therefore it is necessary to have the 
pots from which the paint is used standing in hot water during the 
operation. Two coats of this wash will stand out white on any sur- 
|face, and it may be tinted with mineral colors as in the case of the 
cement wash. It is the most durable and economical coating for brick 
or rough cast walls that we know of, and has been in use for loa 
years or more on lighthouses and other buildings in the United 
States. 

— 230 — 
Black Ink and Water Colors for Show Cards. 

The ink mentioned in recipe, Section 109, is made from the dry ma- 
terial, the shellac which may be doubled, acting as the binder, the 
white soap and wax "as the vehicle. When used it should be moistened 
with alcohol, but only sufficient to make it flow from the pencil. 

To prepare water colors for show cards, first moisten lamp black> 
bronzes and all colors that have a light specific gravity with alcohol, 
then mix intimately with water to which a little dextrine has been 
added. The dextrine should be dissolved first. A trial will readily 
give the proper proportions. The heavier pigments, such as white 
lead, zinc white, chrome yellow, chrome green, vermilion, etc., do not 
require treatment with alcohol. The so-called distemper colors, i. e., 
colors ground in paste form, may be mixed directly with a weak solu- 
tion of dextrine in water. Liquid glue may also be employed as a 
binder, but we prefer the dextrine solution, because it flows more 
freely from the brush and the color mixed with it does not dry up so 
rapidly on standing about. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 87 

— 231 — 

Preparation for Cleaning Wall Paper. 

The following has been suggested by the Pharmaceutical 
Era : Mix together one pound each of rye flour and wheat flour into a 
dough, which is partly baked and the crust removed. To this add by 
kneading one ounce of common salt and one-half ounce of powdered 
naphtalin and then one ounce of cornmeal and one-eighth ounce of 
finest burnt umber. This composition is formed into a mass of proper 
size to be held in the hand, and in use should always be drawn only in 
one direction over the paper to be cleaned. A more simple method is 
to tie up two quarts of wheat bran in a coarse flannel cloth or a bag 
made of flannnel, and rub it over the paper briskly, all in one direction, 
taking care to miss none of the space. Before rubbing, however, the 
walls or ceiling must be carefully dusted. 



Simple Test to Detect the Presence of Mineral Oil in Linseed Oil. 

Take a strip of ordinary window glass and paint it on one 
side with a dense black. When dry turn the painted side down and 
place on the unpainted side a few drops of the suspected oil, and along- 
side of this a few drops of linseed oil which you know to be pure. If 
adulterated with any kind of mineral oil, with even as little as five per 
cent., the bluish cast or bloom will be noticeable to such an extent as 
to cast aside all doubt. 

— 233 — 
How to Make Varnish for Wagon Work. 

This is a difficult proposition. We can give you formula 
for making good varnish for wagon work, but we cannot teach you 
how to make it. In the first place we doubt whether you have the 
necessary apparatus to make it successfully, and in the next place, it 
takes quite a little experience to make it properly. Therefore we 
should advise you to buy your material from reliable manufacturers, 
as in our opinion it will save you much vexation, annoyance and money 
in the long run. You cannot buy your gum, driers, oil and solvents 
at as low prices as the manufacturer, and you might spoil many a batch 
before you would meet with success, to say nothing of the costly ap- 
paratus required for the purpose, and the attendant fire risk in your 
shop. 

To give you an idea of the very simplest way to make a wagon var- 
nish that will dry, say in twelve hours in winter and about eight 
hours in summer, will say that you require two transportable kettles 
which can be removed quickly from the fire, in one of which to boil 
the drying oil, in the other to melt your gum. You ako need at least 
one thermometer that is incased in metallic tubing and which is very 
costly. Each kettle should be provided with lids, which have small 
openings for the insertion of the stirring rod or paddle, and for the 
introduction of material without the necessity of removing the lid. In 
one of the kettles, say twenty gallons of well-settled linseed oil heated 
to say 280 deg. C. (506 deg. F.), and while being kept at this tempera- 



88 7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

ture three pounds of litharge is gradually introduced under constant 
agitation, until the litharge is pretty well taken up. This requires 
several hours. In the meantime lOO pounds of copal (either Kauri 
Gu;ii of Angora Copal) is melted in the other kettle, great care being 
taken to keep from taking fire, keeping the melting portions of the 
gum well under the portion already liquid. When the whole mass is ' 
liquid the kettle is removed from the fire and under constant agita- 
tion the hot drying oil is introduced and the mixture again put on a 
somewhat slower fire and allowed to simmer for a while to body up. 
Now the kettle is again removed to a safe distance from, the fire and 
quickly thinned, while stirring, with about seventy gallons spirits tur- 
pentine. When nearly cold it should be stored in a tank in a warm 
room to permit it to settle and clarify by age. 

This is only one of many methods, but it will give you a fair idea 
that in these days of sharp competition the varnish manufacturer does 
not make such an enormous profit, after all, and that only by im- 
proved apparatus and manufacturing on a large scale he is enabled to 
sell varnish at present rates. 

_ —234 — 

Method of Finishing Furniture in a High Polish. 

We assume that you have hardwood furniture in view, and 
would say that the first step is to see that the work, as it comes 
from the cabinet makers, is well sandpapered, for if it is not it will 
have to be done by you in order to have a good surface to begin with. 
In case the furniture is to be stained, this is the next operation, after 
which comes the filling with a good paste filler. This dry, sandpaper 
again, but always with the grain, using 00 or 000 sandpaper, after 
which dust off carefully and give a coat of shellac varnish, over which 
apply furniture rubbing varnish, two coats if you can afford it. To 
make a very good job, three or four coats mjay be required. When 
the last coat of rubbing varnish is dry and so hard that the finger nail 
will not make an impression, rubbing may be begun, but not before. 

The rubbing is accomplished by applying rubbing oil (crude pe- 
troleum is best), to the surface, sprinkling powdered pumice O or F 
on the same (if the work is horizontal), and rub with rubbing felt in 
long strokes with the grain of the wood. When sufficiently rubbed 
clean up the oil and pumice quickly, and be very particular about 
moldings and corners. Fine sawdust that has been dampened will 
serve very well to take up the oil and pumice, but to make doubly 
sure the surface should be gone over again with cotton wadding. 
For a first-class polish apply one coat of cabinet finish and when dry 
rub down with F. F. or flour of pumice and rubbing oil, clean off very 
carefully, then, with a piece of chamois skin dipped into rotten stone, 
rub the surface with a rotary motion. Let the rotten stone dry on the 
surface, then with the palm of the hand wipe off the rotten stone, 
keeping the hand in rotary motion, and wipe the hand off on a cloth 
after each stroke. We cannot recomn>end any particular brand of 
varnish for the purpose. 



/ 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 89 

— 235 — 

Painting a Locomotive. 

It is impossible for us to give you an idea as to the price 
you should ask for the job, as you do not state anything about the 
size of the locomotive, nor of color, ornamentation and lettering de- 
sired. Engines are not usually coated at present with black asphal- 
tum varnish, but higher priced goods, such as black or green locomo- 
tive enamels, are now very generally used, or flat color is applied, then 
a coat of locomotive rubbing, which is mossed down and finished with 
a high class locomotive varnish. Engine cabs are usually painted 
green outside and a deep red inside. The tenders may be painted 
any color specified, but engine, cab and tender always show a high 
gloss and must of necessity have a hard surface, so as to make clean- 
ing comparatively easy, wherefore oil paint would not be serviceable. 
Each railway system have their own methods and specifications, so, 
you see, we are at a loss to answer you intelligently. However, from 
reports of the Master Car and Locomotive Painters' Association we 
learn that the average cost of painting a locomotive is $68.68 for pas- 
senger service, and $59.88 for freight service, taking the reports from 
ten roads as the basis. 

As to repainting the locomotive in question we do not see that it is 
necessary for you to burn off the old paint from the cab and tender, 
if it can be done with scrapers, or still better, with a mixture of con- 
centrated lye and lime plastered on and then scraped oflf. You can 
give the surface a lead coat, and then knife on your rough stuff or sur- 
faces, rubbing (down with pumice brick, one coat of flat color and one 
coat of color-and- varnish, on which the striping and lettering can be 
done, and one coat of finishing varnish. The inside of the cab can be 
washed down, a coat of color-and-varnish and one coat of varnish 
over this. For the locomotive tank, enamel black or Brunswick green 
enamel and one coat of locomotive finish will suffice. For front part 
of locomotive, lampblack and oil answers best, and for the trucks oil 
color is usually employed. 

You must obtain the details in order to build up your estimate, and 
you must remember that locomotives are painted at a cost of as low 
as $45.00, though the surfacing is very poor and little ornamentation 
is apparent on the engines of that road. The highest cost given i% 
$113.53, ^^^ t'^is engine presents a mirror-like finish, and is highly 
ornamented and lettered in gold. 

— 236 — 

Cement for Plaster Figures or Ornaments. 

An attempt to cement together alabaster or plaster of paris orna- 
ments with plaster of paris and water did not hold. 

Your plaster of paris cement did not have enough binder 
to hold. Take two parts by weight of Portland cement, one part 
slaked lime, dry, and one part fine sand and mix with silicate of soda 
(water glass) 33 degrees. Beat to a mushy consistency, apply to the 
fractures, press together, remove the surplus cement that squeezes out, 
and tie the parts together, if necessary. Will harden in less than 
twenty-four hours and will not part again. 



go 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 337 — 

To Clean the Caned Seats in Chairs. 

Turn over the chairs, and with sponge and very hot water 
rub off the caned part. See that the cane takes up all the water 
possible, then place the chairs in free air or in a well ventilated room t<^ 
dry, when the seats will look like new and may be coated with white 
shellac varnish. 

— 238 — 

Best Putty for Glazing Hothouses. 

The very best putty we know of for the purpose men- 
tioned is to boil paint skins with linseed oil until they become so soft 
that they may be put through a paint strainer and give a fine gummy 
paint of fairly stout consistency. This paint is mixed with bolted 
whiting and powdered litharge, ten parts of the former to one part, by 
weight, of the latter, until it is of the consistency of soft putty, when 
it is laid on the frame with a putty or glazier's knife and the glasis im- 
bedded therein. More whiting is used to stiffen this putty for the final 
application, which is effected in the same way as in ordinary glazing. 
Commercial linseed and whiting putty is not durable for glazing hot- 
houses, because of the action of the moisture within and that of the 
sun without. The preparation named will answer where the frame- 
work is iron, as well as on wood. 

— 239 — 

Gold Tarnishing on Smalted Sign Boards. 

On two smalted board signs the gold leaf tarnished in one year ta 
look like brass. The boards had three good coats ; the size was from 
oil the painter had used for six or eight years, and the gold leaf came 
from a first class house. 

You forgot to state what color the smalts were, nor do 
you mention the quality of the smalts. The firm you buy the gold leaf 
from is first-class in every respect, but we have come across instances 
where gold leaf has changed to the color of brass or copper in less than 
a year's time. This may be caused by a smoke laden atmosphere con- 
taining sulphur or from sulphur in your smalts. The copper alloy in 
the gold has something to do with it, and we should advise you to wash 
off the gold with weak sulphuric acid and it will look like new. Take 
commercial sulphuric acid and soft water, equal parts, and use a 
sponge tied to a stick to apply it. 

— 240 — 

Removing Cracked Paint From Exterior Surfaces. 

A better method than burning off was wanted for removing paint 
that had cracked so badly as to show an alligator skin, and in some 
places inclined to peel and even curl. The house had been painted 
with two coats of pure lead and linseed oil, but was then in bad condi- 
tion, having been painted four or five times before with not less than 
50 per cent, of zinc oxide in the paint. 



7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 91 

You cannot make a lasting job of repainting the house in 
question unless you remove all of the old paint that is loose or other- 
wise clean to the wood. And vou will find it most efconomical to use 
the torch and burn off the pamt, because in the hands of the skilled 
man the torch will do the work in less time and with less expense than 
by employing a paint remover. A good and effective paint remover is 
all right where the torch cannot be used or where the surface is to be 
in the natural finish again, but for large surfaces that can be readily got 
at with the burner, our experience favors the latter plan of procedure. 

— 241 — 

How to Prepare a First-Class Floor Paint. 

To make such a paint successfully, the pigments required 
to produce the necessary color or tint of the paint must be considered, 
also whether the paint is intended for interior work only, or for porches 
as well. If for interior work only, zinc white may be used as the base 
for tints, but for porch floors zinc white should be omitted, or its use 
should be minimized, and white lead introduced as the base. 

The white lead or zinc white and oil colors should be well ground 
and of pasty consistency and thinned to liquid form with pure turpen- 
tine and, as the drying characteristics of the colors may require, with 
a fair portion of japan or liquid drier, and to this mixture should be 
added a good, hard drying twelve-hour floor varnish to produce the 
necessary gloss and give binding properties. 

It is impossible to give any fixed rules as to proportions, and the 
painter will have to work out his own formulas and select his mjaterials 
by making his own experiments and tests. 

We can only add in conclusion that by taking the strongest colors 
obtainable, less pigment will be required to make the paint cover prop- 
erly, and such paint will work n>ore freely and evenly under the brush, 
and it will be more elastic, hence more durable, than a paint with an 
excess of useless pigment. It is also self-evident that when such inert 
pigments as ocher, Venetian red or zinc white are employed a greater 
portion of drier is required to make the paint dry hard within the limit, 
than when drying pigments such as white lead, burnt umber, etc., enter 
into its composition. Under certain conditions to insure thorough dry- 
ing, it may become necessary to use color, ground in japan, as, for in- 
stance, when Vandyke brown is used as coloring matter. 

— 242 — 
Refinishing Oak Doors and Sash. 

Take off doors and sash and lay them horizontally on trusses, give 
them a coat of wood alcohol, which will soften the varnish still re- 
maining. Now take sharp steel scrapers to remove the softened ma- 
terial and repeat the operation until you get close to the wood. 

Now take a solution of oxalic acid, say one-half pound oxalic acid to 
one pint of water (which, however, will not dissolve all the oxalic acid) 
and apply it with brush or swab, which will take out of the wood any 
discoloration, and when dry, sandpaper, dust, refill and finish as you 
would new work. It is not necessary to treat the wood or wash off the 



92 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

oxalic acid, and though more expensive than the use of ammonia it is 
a cleaner method and leaves the wood in better condition. 

One part of muriatic acid to five parts of water will also remove 
discoloration from light, hard woods, but in either case the workmen 
should be very careful in handling the solutions, both being powerful 
poisons, though oxalic acid is not so injurious to the hands as muriatic 
acid. The solutions must be made in an earthen or stone vessel and 
should be carefully labeled and put out of harm's way when not in 
lise. 

_ 243 — 
Lettering on Wire Screen to Appear Solid. 

If the lettering is to be done on closely woven fly screen, you re- 
quire a paint that will fill the meshes solidly, which can be accom- 
plished by holding your paint stout, using stiff paste colors, mixed 
with drier and a good elastic, heavy bodied varnish, so that it w,ill at 
once fill the meshes and dry hard and thoroughly. 

— 344 — 
Method for a Dead Finish in Old Ivory Tint. 

First see that the . wood is sandpapered perfectly smooth 
and dust carefully. Prime with pure white lead, thinned with equal 
parts raw Unseed oil and turpentine, adding a little good japan. Apply 
thin, so as to avoid brush marks, and when dry, sandpaper with No. o 
paper. Putty up with white lead putty, which allow to dry hard. 
Now apply two thin coats, at least, of pure lead, tinted with a little 
raw sienna and thinned with turpentine and a trifle japan dryer only; 
use a fine bristle chiseled brush and sandpaper each coat. If this does 
not give a good surface, apply more of the same lead paint and sand- 
paper smoothly and dust off carefully. The surface is now ready to 
receive the finish, which shall consist of at least two coats of zinc, 
ground in damar varnish, which should be tinted old ivory with raw 
sienna and some yellow lake, both ground in japan or varnish, thinned 
with turpentine and a good pale, hard-drying rubbing varnish. Rub 
down in the usual way with pumice and water to a dead finish. 

Whether you are required to spend more time on the job depends 
upon your contract, but the foregoing will make good and serviceable 
work for interiors, though not of the very highest order. 

-345 — 
RoughstufT for Sign Work. 

There are hundreds of formulas for preparing roughstuff, 
and they vary only as to the coarse material, which is mixed into white 
lead, the latter being, along with rubbing varnish and japan, the essen- 
tial part of every elastic roughstuff, the proportions varying as to the 
time of drying. To make a 24-hour roughstuff, take one part, by 
weight, of pure white lead in oil and three parts, by weight, of dry 
American umber, or ground slate, and mix with two parts rubbing 
varnish and one part coach japan to a thick paste, which thin with 
turpentine to brushing consistency. 



rS9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 95 

Quick roughstuff, of which two coats can be applied within 8 or 
lo hours, can be made from equal parts of pure white lead in oil a«d 
dry Reno filler, or American umber, made into a stiff paste, with equal 
parts of quick-rubbing varnish and coach japan, thinned with turpen- 
tine for application. 

— 246 — 
Efflorescence in Rough-Plastered Walls. 

Paint peeled in large blotches from a roughcast wall of a buildings 
in two years. The wall was thoroughly dry and had been on nearly 
two years. The paint was first class, and well applied in two coats — 
buff color, made from pure white lead and French ochre. Wherever 
the paint peeled there was a saltpetre-like spotting on the plaster. 

It is a difficult matter to prove that the salt-like material 
which has pushed away your paint is really saltpetre, which seems to- 
be the name which is, by common consent, given by painters to all the 
efflorescence so frequently noted on stone or brick walls, even after 
they have stood for years. We have noticed this on buildings that did 
not show it during the first ten or fifteen years after erection, and then, 
after every driving rainstorm, this white efflorescence became more and 
more prominent When this occurs many painters are nonplused as to- 
probable cause, but it is an entirely natural phenomenon, a body which 
was part of the clay out of which the bricks were made and which 
burning in the kiln was unable to remove. When the stones or bricks 
become saturated with moisture the mineral salts are dissolved and 
force themselves to the surface. As in the case of the bricks, so it is 
with plaster ; the surplus mineral salts in the lime and cement are also 
dissolved by moisture and forced out, and this causes the lime, cement 
and brick to become harder with age. We, therefore, believe that, in 
spite of your belief in the dry condition of the wall, there was moisture- 
present, and no one can blame you or your paint for the trouble. 

There has been so far no paint invented which will prevent walls 
from giving off efflorescence in the presence of moisture. 

— 247 — 
Imitating Grotmd or Frosted Glass. 

The trustees of a church wanted the windows renovated. The glass 
had been painted seven years before, partly in imitation of stained 
glass and partly with white lead in oil, turps and drier, tinted a light 
blue. While the imitation of stained glass had stood well, the light 
blue paint all came off, and this they wished removed. The painter 
who was to do the work had heard there was an acid which could be 
applied to the glass to give a perfect imitation of ground glass. 

Your informant is correct. There is an acid that will eat 
into glass and give it the effect of having been ground, but it will not 
suit your case. You would have to take out the windows, clean them 
thoroughly, coat the sash edges with wax to protect them from the 
acid, and afterward remove the wax again. The acid he has reference 
to is hydrofluoric acid, made by dissolving powdered fluor spar in sul- 
phuric acid. This must be kept in leaden or gutta percha bottles, and 
cannot be applied with a brush, but the glass is laid flat and the acid*. 



94 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

poured over it, and as soon as it has taken effect, that is, as soon as the 
glass is obscure, the acid is poured off and the glass rinsed with cold 
water. You would have to be very careful in using the acid, as it is 
very powerful, and we would suggest to you to employ any one of the 
following methods : 

Make a solution of gum arabic in water and dissolve in this solution 
all the Rochelle salts it will take up, let it stand over night and after 
the glass is well cleaned, flow on the solution, so that it will not run, 
which can be done with a soft, flat varnish brush, where it is con- 
venient to lay the glass flat. When dry, flow on a thin coat of damar 
varnish. The solution may be tinted or colored with colors in dis- 
temper. 

Or use white sugar of lead, ground fine in oil, apply this same as 
any oil paint ; color, if desired, and pounce, while the paint is still fresh, 
with a wad of cotton batting, held between thumb and finger. 

Still another method, which strikes us as the most convenient, is to 
take white lead in distemper, that is, white lead ground fine in water 
to a stiff paste, thin it down to a brushing consistency with a solution 
or gum. arabic and common salt in soft water. This may be colored or 
tinted to suit, and will adhere so well that it will eat into the glass and 
last for years. If on application it shows brush marks, go over it with 
a mottler or stipple it. 

Should you desire to use ordinary oil paint, thin the paste with equal 
parts boiled linseed oil and turpentine, in which some beeswax has 
been dissolved, apply it with the brush and rub out well, then take 
muslin cloth of fine grain, dampen it somewhat and place inside a wad 
of cotton and with this bag pounce the paint all over, so as to show no 
brush marks whatever. 

— 248 — 

Combed Walls — How to Mix Paint Properly for the Work. 

The walls of a bath room are to be painted sky blue and combed. 

It is best to use pure white lead, ground stiff in oil, thin with equal 
parts raw oil and turpentine to a fairly stout batter, add your blue, 
already broken up in turpentine and some paste drier, the liquid drier 
being liable to make your paint too thin. If you choose, you can add 
some fine bolted whiting to your paint to make it stout, but in that 
case you must strain it well before use. If you use Prussian blue, omit 
the whiting, because it is liable to give a greenish effect, and substitute 
zinc white to body it up. Before you begin, try a little patch to see 
whether your paint will give the proper thickness of film for combing 
and whether it holds up after comb»:ng and does not run over the fur- 
rows made by the comb. A little rubbing varnish added to the paint 
will aid in drawing clear lines with the comb. Above all, try your 
paint first on an out of the way space of the wall. 

— 349 — 

Causes for the Fading of Paint on Exterior of Foundries. 

Four months after the exterior of an iron foundry was paftited one 
coat, the bottle green paint used for the trimmings had faded to a lead 
color. The building had been erected three years previously, built of 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 95 

cypress wood and painted two coats, drab color for body and bottle 
green for trimmings, supposed to be best lead and oil, but really com- 
posed of white ochre and dry Prussian blue, lamp black and yellow 
ochre. The second painting was done with a certain brand of sup- 
posedly pure white lead, oil and drier from the same manufacturer, 
also Prussian blue, ivory drop black and pure stone yellow ground in 
oil for tinting, all mixed at the same time and strained. 

You have neglected to state what condition the surface 
was in when you undertook to renovate that building with one single 
coat of paint. We have to do some tall guessing, and from your state- 
ment of how the building was painted originally we conclude that the 
surface was in such shape that one coat was utterly insufHcient to pro- 
duce a good job of repainting, no matter of how high a grade your 
lead, oil and colors were that you employed in making your paint. 
The firm you mention does not corrode white lead, and that pure 
white lead is most likely a so-called graded lead and may contain a 
white pigment that does not hold colors well in severe exposure. How- 
ever that may be, we will not discuss such point as bearing on your 
case, because it is nluch more probable that what you call fading is a 
sinking in of the oil into a surface which must have been in very bad 
shape when you applied your paint four months ago. Most likely the 
oil from your paint was absorbed by the old surface and your pigments 
are left practically dry on the surface. As they are not of a character 
to be readily attacked or affected by gases, we would suggest that you 
wash off a small space of the apparently faded paint with a very weak 
ammonia solution, and wipe dry, then apply with a soft sponge a little 
boiled oil and see the effect. 

— 250 — 

How to Produce Frosted Mirrors in a Simple Way. 

Beautiful frosted effects, of a temporary character, are often used 
in public houses, barber shops, stores, etc. 

These mirrors are covered with a solution of epsom salts 
in stale beer, which is applied with a sponge to the mirror plate that 
has been wiped clean and dry previously. On drying, the epsom salt 
crystalizes, giving very handsome frosted effects, but the solution must 
not be applied on humid days, when the glass is liable to be damp, for 
in that case the effect will be a blurred one. When it is desirable to re- 
move the coating, lukewarm water will serve the purpose without dam- 
age to the luster of the mirror. 

— 251 — 

Rapid Fading of Pink Tints on Exposed Surfaces. 

The owner of a dwelling house insisted on having a light pink for 
the body. The painter used a combination of three parts white lead, 
one part American zinc, raw linseed oil of best quality, and a little 
good liquid drier, using American vermilion for coloring matter, but as 
this made too strong a pink to suit the owner, it was toned down with 
chrome yellow. While the paint was wet the color satisfied the owner, 
but in drying every trace of the pink tone disappeared, leaving a dark, 
creamy yellow effect in its place. 



96 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

American vermilion or chrome red, as it is called in Eu- 
rope, is one of the most stable pigments in that line, and it is utterly 
impossible for it to fade out while the paint is being applied, no matter 
how severe the exposure. In fact, with the exception of madder lakes 
or one or more reds of similar permjanency we know of no pigment in 
the vermilion line that would hold its color as long on exposure. We 
think the term "fading" is a misapplication in this case, and that it is 
rather a "bleaching out" on the part of the white bases during the dry- 
ing process, the vermilion being more crystaline in structure, sinking 
in, and the more amorphous white and chrome yellow floating to the 
top. This seems to us the only logical way to explain the cause of the 
trouble. A red of much lighter specific gravity than American ver- 
milion would, no doubt, have given different results, it would hav€ 
"held up" better, but if fleeting in its character would have actually 
faded in a- short time. A delicate pink tint will not stand well on 
severe exposure, no matter how well made. 

— 252 — 
Spotting of Painted Walls and Ceilings. 

Two parlors, dining room and reception hall, were painted in rose 
tint, terra cotta and green tint. Pure white lead, boiled oil and high 
grade mixing colors were used. The walls being hard finished, the 
wall paper was scraped off, the walls properly patched and sand- 
papered and three coats applied in the dining room and reception hall, 
while the parlor was given four coats ; the first coat only being white 
lead and oil, all others thinned with turpentine only to a dead flat 
finish. The work .seemed to be perfect, but in two weeks all began 
to show spots which grew larger and larger, until it appeared like 
half-dried kalsomine. 

We could recount a number of causes for the trouble you 
mention, but as you have stated the case so plainly we can see no other 
explanation but that you did not get your wall to a uniform suction, in 
other words,^in some places the paste came off with the paper, while in 
other places or spots it remained on the wall and stopped suction. The 
wall being of hard finish, the suction was not marked enough to notice 
it on the oil coat and two days between coats was not a long enough 
time to make it apparent. We have seen walls where cracks were 
filled with plaster which was not sized before repainting the walls and 
yet the suction did not show for a month or more, but finally it did 
very decidedly. The same applies to patched up walls, and the only 
preventive is to put a good coat of glue size or shellac, varnish over 
the first coat to stop suction. Most varnish manufacturers offer a 
suction varnish for this purpose, but shellac varnish is best. While we 
do not approve of using boiled oil in the priming coat for plastered 
walls, we do not think that the trouble is due to this or the white lead 
or the mixing colors employed, but entirely to the neglect of stopping 
suction in the wall. No matter how many coats you apply now to the 
walls in question, the same trouble will appear again, and the only 
remedy is to give a coat of shellac varnish, reduced so as to flow freely, 
so that it may be applied in a uniform film and without laps and apply 
two more flat coats of the desired tint. Priming for finishing walls 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 97 

that have not been painted before should always be white lead, well 
thinned with raw linseed oil and a little drier, and well brushed in. 
Following this with a coat of glue size or shellac varnish will stop 
suction and save two coats of paint. The next coat should be thinned 
with equal parts of boiled linseed oil and turpentine, and over this two 
coats of flat paint are needed for a good flat finish. The best decorators- 
of the East seldom give less than one coat of size and four coats of 
paint, but mostly five or six coats. 

— 253 — 

Value of the Iodine and Saponification Tests for Linseed Oil* 

Church, in his Chemistry of Paints and Painting, says that 
the nitric acid test produces reactions in which the oil and the acid 
acquire varied colors characteristic of different oils. These tests must 
be applied under exactly similar conditions of temperature, agitation, 
lapse of time, strength of acid, etc., and even then, unless the experi- 
menter is well versed in his work, the indications obtained are some- 
times perplexing and difficult to interpret. 

It would take up too much of our space to describe the iodine and 
saponification tests named and be useless at the same time, as they are 
conclusive only when made by a skilled chemist, and therefore we will 
state only the value of the tests. 

The linseed oil that absorbs the most oxygen is the best oil, and to 
determine this characteristic the iodine test is employed. As linseed oil. 
combines very readily with iodine, it is determined how much of it willi 
combine with the oil. As the average amount of iodine taken up by 
linseed oil is 156 per cent, of its weight, and as the non-drying oils do* 
not take up over 8 to 20 per cent., the value of the test will be readily 
understood. The higher the iodine numbers of an oil, the greater its- 
power of absorbing oxygen, hence the greater its drying properties. 

The saponification test is valuable in determining the presence of 
rosin or mineral oils, because these do not saponify. A certain quan- 
tity of the suspected oil is placed in a suitable vessel with some water 
and a little alcohol, then caustic soda is added and the mass boiled, 
stirring at intervals. The linseed oil becomes saponified, while rosin or 
mineral oil are not acted upon. 

— 354 — 

To Remove White Stains From Varnished Table Tops. 

Wanted a method for removing the white stains made by whisky 
or wine from table tops without injury to the varnish. 

We have not tried it ourselves, but the steward of a large 
clubhouse told us a short time since of a simple method, which ac- 
complishes the purpose with little trouble and expense. He takes 
ordinary sal soda, powders it very fine in the dry state, and sprinkles 
this powder over the stains, allows it to remain a few minutes, then 
takes a cloth saturated with kerosene and rubs first the stained spots 
and finally the whole table top, following with a dry cloth to give pol- 
ish. We have seen the tables thus treated and believe the method' 
worth trying. 



98 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— ass- 
Removing Rust and Grease Spots From Marble. 

Rust spots on marble are usually produced when articles 
of iron are laid upon the wet marble or allowed to rest upon 
marble in humid atmosphere. These spots penetrate rather deeply, as 
marble is very porous, and can be removed only by rubbing down the 
marble deep enough to obliterate the spots and then repolish the sur- 
face. As even the weakest acids will destroy marble, such radical 
treatment cannot be thought of, or oxalic acid would be the proper 
remedy. Grease spots from paint, oil or from touching with dirty 
hands, can be removed by applying to the surface a stout batter made 
from equal parts of slaked lime and white pipe clay mixed with water 
or calcined magnesia and white pipe clay will also serve the purpose. 
This batter is applied in a thick layer all over the surface and allowed 
to remain for twp days, during which time it must be frequently 
moistened with water and only allowed to dry after the two days are 
over, when it is removed by wiping it off with a soft cloth. Then the 
surface is polished with a piece of soft leather and finest bolted whit- 
ing. Artificial marble, however, cannot be treated in this way, as this 
article will not stand it. 

— 2s6 — 

Cement Made from Cheese and Lime.. 

We have no experience in the use of casein for cement, 
but we know that in paints it is a good substitute for glue. For your 
purpose, i. e., for cementing fractured articles of metal, stone, porcelain 
or glass we know of a simple preparation in which cheese also takes 
a most important part. Take ten parts by weight of fresh cottage 
cheese, not too dry, and two or three parts of freshly slaked*lime. Mix 
well and use immediately. It cannot be prepared ahead, as the mix- 
ture sets as quickly as plaster of paris. 
# 

_2S7 — 

How to Mix Graining Colors to Work and Blend Well. 

If you purchase graining color in oil, you will adhere to 
the directions given by the manufacturer in thinning the same. But if 
you use colors in oil, put up for general trade, you will require equal 
parts boiled oil and turpentine for thinning, and then add about two 
tablespoonsful of a good japan to each pint of the thinned color. To 
make your color flow and blend well add a little soap or whiting or 
both. 

— 2s8 — 

Warm Colors as Against Cold Colors, or Light and Dark Colors or 

Shades. 

As you, no doubt, know white and black are not colors, 
the first representing light and the other all absence thereof. When 
the two are mixed, a gray is produced, representing in its various 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 99 

depths the stage from light to darkness or vice versa. Whenever black 
predominates, the color is cool or cold ; if white is in large proportion, 
the tint may be said to be warm in tone, or in solid colors, where yellow 
or red predominate, the color is warm or hot. But when a color is dull, 
and impresses the eye like the passing of a funeral cortege, as it were, 
then the color is termed somber, because a color can be cool or cold and 
yet be pleasing to the eye, if in harmony with other surroundings. Dull 
means that a color is devoid of life, lacking richness of tone. Old is a 
term applied to certain colors made in imitation of articles or things 
that have changed with age or faded, as, for instance, old rose, old 
ivory, old mahogany, in contradistinction to rose, ivory or mahogany. 
In modern paint nomenclature names are borrowed from perfumes, 
from the temples of fashion, and there is such a variety of these as to 
set an old-fashioned painter on the verge of losing his reason. Ashes of 
roses, elephant's breath, etc., are the names of tints given on sample 
cards. We wouldn't know how to compound a tint that looked like the 
breath of an elephant, no matter how hard we tried, nor do we know 
what "cafe au lait" means, or what Murray looked like or Pompadour, 
either. Light, medium and dark are the distinguishing terms of three 
hues of one and the same color, and such color need not be somber, 
because it is dark or deep, nor need this color be hot or warm, because 
the hue or shade is light. 

— 359 — 

To Remove Weather Stain on Milwaukee Brick. 

Make a strong solution of rock potash in boiling hot water 
and apply with a sponge to the stains. If this does not remove the 
stains, there is no remedy, excepting to heat the bricks with a gasoline 
burner and then coat them with paraffin, a rather costly undertaking 
and by no means a certain remedy, either. If the treatment with muri- 
atic acid solution did not do any good, at least temporary, the trouble 
is in the composition of the bricks. 

— 260 — 

White Lead and Oil Paint Blackening, Where Not Exposed to the 

Direct 'Sunlight. 

A house located on a hill, with no shrubbery within twenty feet, was 
painted white with good white lead and linseed oil, but turned black 
on the sides not fully exposed to the sun. 

We think the case is not exactly one of blackening, but 
that the oil has darkened and the paint had no opportunity to bleach 
out, because of a lack of warmth and light. It may be a case of so* 
called mildew, or fungus growth, and the best thing to do, would be to 
try a space, rubbing it with a sponge saturated with turpentine, to see 
if the whiteness cannot to a certain extent be restored. If not, the best 
thing to do is, provided the paint is fairly hard, to give it a coat of lead 
and zinc, in the proportion of 2-3 lead and 1-3 zinc white. 



100 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

— 261 — 

Painting Machinery to Stand Heat and Ammonia Vapors. 

First fill all your machinery parts requiring painting, with 
iron filler or surfacer, that you can obtain from any reliable paint man- 
ufacturer, as per directions on label of package. Then apply one or 
more coats of the color in japan, that you fancy for the purpose, thin- 
ning the paste color with turpentine, to which add some varnish for 
binder. For finish, use a good, fairly-quick drying baking varnish. 
Should you desire no particular color, we would advise you to use two 
coats of a good black baking japan over the filler and surfacer. 

— 262 — 

White Lead in Oil and Dry Lampblack Chalking. 

A house was painted a medium shade of gray, made from pure white 
lead in oil and dry lamp black thinned with linseed oil. In four months 
the house had turned white in spots and was chalking as freely as 
though it had been painted four or five years. 

To be frank, we are unable to tell the exact cause of chalk- 
ing, but will say that it is a bad error to make a paint of white lead in 
oil and use dry lampblack for tinting the same. You cannot make an 
intimate mixture in that way, no matter how carefully you try to do it 
There are several possibilities, viz. : The dry lampblack is enveloped 
in the lead in oil, and becomes lumpy, and though not noticeable at 
first, will play just the trick mentioned after being exposed. The sur- 
face on which the paint was applied may have been much more dry and 
porous in certain spots than in others, causing a variation in the ap- 
pearance of the paint in different places. The premature chalking of 
the paint may be due to a very dry surface, which absorbed the oil from 
the paint, leaving it practically dry and without binder. Tiy this by 
applying a good coat of raw oil on the spots, where it has turned white, 
and where it apparently has chalked most, and note the result. Three 
parts of good kettle-boiled linseed oil and one part of turpentine make 
an excellent paint renovator. 

— 263 — 
Groimdwork for Bronzing Articles of Wood. 

Prepare first a thin glue size by soaking good animal glue over 
night in cold water and melting it next morning in the usual water 
bath. Strain it, before using, through old linen or cheesecloth into a 
clean vessel. Sandpaper smooth and dust the articles, then apply with 
a soft-bristle brush two or three coats of the size, allowing sufficient 
time for each coat to harden before applying the next. Now, a ground 
coat made by thoroughly mixing finely-bolted gilders' whiting and glue 
size is applied, and when this has become hard it is rubbed to a smooth, 
even surface with selected fine pumice, and then given one coat of thin 
copal varnish. When this is nearly but not quite dry, the bronze pow- 
der is applied with a suitable brush or wad of cotton, and when dry the 
surplus bronze is removed with the same tool. If collected on clean 
paper, the dusted-off bronze powder may be used again. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. loi 

— 264 — 

Simple Method to Fasten Leather or Oilcloth to Table or Desk Tops. 

You may use the same paste for leather as you do for oil- 
cloth or other goods, but the leather must first be moistened before the 
paste is applied. We would advise you to prepare your paste as fol- 
lows : Mix two and one-quarter pounds of good wheat flour with two 
tablespoonsful of pulverized gum arable or powdered rosin and two 
tablespoonsful of pulverized alum in a clean dish with water enough to 
make a uniformly thick batter ; set it over a slow fire and stir continu- 
ously until the paste is uniform and free from lumps. When the mass 
has become so stout that the wooden spoon or stick will stand in its 
upright, it is taken from the fire and placed in another dish and covered 
so that no skin will form on top. When cold, the table top, desk top, 
etc., is covered with a thin coat of the paste, the cloth, etc., carefully 
laid on and smoothed from the center towards the edges with a rolling 
pin. The trimming of edges is accom-plished when the paste has dried. 
To smooth out the leather after pasting, a woolen cloth is of the best 
service. 

— 265 — . 

White Gloss Finish in Bath Room Turning Red. 

A bathroom was painted with Tuscan red and varnished. Seven 
years later it was repainted in white — ^two coats of lead and two coats 
of zinc in damar varnish. Twenty months later the door of the bath 
room began to turn red, dnd four months afterward it looked as if it 
had been given a thin coat of cherry stain. The rest of the woodwork 
tathe room had not changed, except in a few places where it had 
spotted red. It is difficult to theorize when details are so 
meager, for it is not stated what was done to the old sur- 
face before it was repainted in white. Was there an attempt made to 
remove the old varnish with a caustic or alkali, or was the varnished 
surface simply sandpapered? In the first case, the alkali may not have 
been thoroughly removed or neutralized, and therefore acted slowly on 
the remaining coloripg matter of the Tuscan red, at the same time 
softening and thereby coloring the white lead coats underneath the zinc 
and varnish. In the second case, if the varnish over the Tuscan red 
was removed by sandpapering, the latter being unprotected and prob- 
ably powdery, may 'have given up its coloring matter, or, in other 
words, bled into the white lead, unnoticed at that time, but later on 
showing up in greater strength. That it shows more prominently on 
the door may be due to strong light, as for instance, the sun striking the 
door. Or it is just possible that the discoloration was caused by the 
fumes of a disinfectant used in the bath room. 

— 266 — 

Spotting and Discoloring of Paint on Plastered Walls. 

A painter was called on to finish some walls plastered with agalite 
cement, finished rough. He first sized with good white glue; then 
applied first coat of oil color, two parts oil to one of turps; second 
coat lead tinted a medium shade of green, with chrome yellow and 



102 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

m 

Prussian blue, thinned with turps and enough damar varnish to dry 
flat. Although it was a good flat finish and a beautiful job, in less 
than two weeks yellow spots appeared. These were touched up with 
glue size, later with shellac and then with varnish, but the discolora- 
tion returned. When the surface where these spots occur is scraped, 
the piaster appears to be soft. These spots only occurred on the 
parts of the wall painted with this green tint ; the yellow, tan, blue and 
gray tints not being affected. We always caution against the paint- 
ing of hot walls, whether they be of ordinary plaster or cement 
of any kind, because of the risk attached to such jobs; but, of course, 
the painter is often called upon to do the work and cannot well refuse, 
because he is not in business for pastime. There are, however, in such 
cases, simple precautions that, when judiciously employed, will lessen 
the risk of early disintegration. Cement plaster is more or less alka- 
line, and the salts are sure to bloom out, first discoloring and finally 
throwing off the paint in spots. That such discoloration or spots have 
not appeared on the other tints is no criterion that the fault is not in 
the cement, as there may be two factors to have prevented it on the 
walls covered by these tints ; first, the cement may have been less alka- 
line, or less of it may have been used, and, second, the colors used in 
those tints are not affected by alkaline salts, as in Prussian blue. The 
blooming out of the alkaline salts in cement mortar or plaster will 
occur in spots, and this action may be hastened by moisture, and, as 
Prussian blue, is readily decomposed, even by weak alkalies, you will 
read^ily see what caused the trouble. The logical conclusion is that 
under the spots mentioned a blooming out of the alkaline salts has 
taken place, eating through the glue size and paint and destroying the 
color of the Prusian blue in the tint, leaving buff or yellow spots. If 
the wall had been first coated with raw oil or thin oil paint and then 
glue sized, it would, no doubt, have delayed the perishing, but in time 
it would have made its appearance anyway. Ultramarine blues or cop- 
per blues are not affected by alkalies, neither are ultramarine greens 
or copper greens. But it must not be supposed that the use of Prussian 
blue in that tint had anything to do with the disintegration of the paint, 
for this should have occurred all the same, though it would not have 
been noted in so short a space of time if Prussian blue had not been a 
constituent of that tint. We would advise you to see whether the spots 
have extended in area : and if not, to scrape all of the affected surface 
clean down to the plaster, cutting out as much of it as appears to be 
necessary to keep it from spreading, and filling up again with plaster 
of paris, which, when dry, coat up with white lead thinned with japan 
varnish and turps to stop suction, then with the tint to match the other 
parts of walls, and finally give a coat of lead tinted with ultramarine 
blue and zinc yellow, which will, at least, not show any discoloration, 
because unaffected by alkalies. Or, if you can by the above means 
arrest further disintegration of the paint from underneath, it may be 
safe enough to use the same tint that you have used before. 

-267- 
Cement for Broken Plaster Casts. 

Into a wide-mouthed bottle or glass jar place some small 
pieces of celluloid, pour sufficient sulphuric ether over these, and cork 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 103 

tightly. Shake the bottle or jar frequently until the celluloid is dis- 
solved, let it rest awhile, then decant the clear liquid into another bottle 
and use the gummy portion in the bottom of the original bottle,or jaf 
as a cement, which will dry rapidly and is insoluble in either hot or 
cold water. 

— 268 — 

The Proper Name for Barytes in Commerce. 

Barytes is the trade or commercial name for sulphate of 
barium, otherwise barium sulphate, which are the chemical terms for 
the mineral known as heavy spar, after it has been bleached, washed 
and ground into a fine powder after drying. Blanc fixe is artificial 
barytes, very ni(uch finer in texture and more opaque than the ordinary 
kind. It is also known as permanent white, baryta white, etc., and is 
largely employed to cheapen white paints, as well as colors, and is the 
base of nearly all conimercial chrome greens. As to its use on a new 
plastered wall, we cannot see the advantage thereof, unless you desire 
to mix it with white lead or some other pigment of body, when the 
barytes will act as a sort of filler, as well as a cheapener of your ma- 
terial. It being entirely inert and unaffected by alkalies, we cai\not see 
any objection to its use, any harm that may come to the paint from a 
new hot wall would be through the oil being aflfected, or to color, that 
is not alkali proof. 

— 269 — 

Best Material and Method for Painting Brickwork in Flat Finish. 

The best way to paint a new brick wall in red is to use a 
good Venetian red in oil, thinned with pure raw linseed oil and a little 
liquid drier only. Have this priming thin and flow it on freely and 
brush it into the brick well. Give plenty of time for drying, then putty 
up. For second coat use at least 25 per cent, pure white lead with your 
Venetian red and thin it with three parts raw linseed oil and one part 
turps, adding the necessary drier. Have your paint for this coat of 
good body and rub it out well and even. 

For the third or finishing coat use a fine, stiff ground Venetian red of 
the proper shade, and if necessary for light red brick, add some French 
ocher to obtain desired shade ; thin this with plenty of brown japan and 
turpentine to a thin wash and apply quickly, avoiding laps. If it does 
not flat immediately, it will do so in a very short time. Should it dry 
too flat or lack binder, add a little boiled oil. The best plan, however, 
is to purchase the flat brick red offered by paint manufacturers, and 
thin and apply as directed by them. If the brick front is to be lined 
in white, use white lead thinned with turps; for black use lampblack in 
oil, thinned with japan and turps. When you undertake to paint brick- 
work always see to it first that the brick is dry. If you paint immedi- 
ately after heavy or driving rains or where there are leaky roofs or 
cornices, from which the bricks become damp, you run a heavy risk, as 
your paint will surely scale sooner or later. If you find the wall is not 
in proper condition for painting, call the owner's attention to it, and if 
he persists in having the job done without first remedying the defects, 
do it at his risk only. 



104 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

The best size for new common brick that is to be oainted is an oil 
priming, as noted above. The pigment to be used in this priming may 
ie white lead, yellow ocher, Venetian red, mineral brown or any other 
mineral paint that may be suitable or allow succeeding coats to cover 
well. No other size or material is suitable for first coating exposed 
brickwork, new or old. As to a size for new plastered walls, 
we do not approve of a size directly on the plaster, but recom- 
mend a thin wash of white lead, thinned with pure raw lin- 
seed oil and a little turpentine to make it penetrate well into the 
wall. Unless the wall is very hot this will neutralize whatever caus- 
ticity there may be in the plaster, and when the priming is dry a coat 
of glue size may be given, which will save several coats of paint. When 
a new wall is still very hot, that is, when the lime in the plaster has not 
had an opportunity to become neutralized, it is best to give a wash 
of vinegar before priming. 

— 270 — 
Pigments and Medium for Water Color Painting. 

As to the history of water color painting it is said that the 
ancient Egyptians used this method in their wall paintings. They 
covered the walls with stucco, traced the outlines in deep red, used a 
ground of white and colored the various parts. The technics of the 
wall paintings in the catacombs point to a similar method. The term 
''aquarelle" was applied to transparent water color paintings, while 
"gouache" indicated the opposite or opaque painting in water colors. 
This has changed during the last half century, so that both aquarelle 
and gouache are employed together. The pigments used in water colors 
are of both vegetable and mineral origin ,the latter being more perma- 
nent. The medium consists of Senegal gum or gum arable dissolved in 
water, or of a mixture of equal parts of these, and the same quantity of 
white rock candy dissolved in cold water. But the "moist" colors in 
tubes have come into use and are both safe, economical and save the 
artist quite a good deal of trouble, as he does not now require slab and 
muller. The principal pigments for water color painting are yellow 
ocher, raw and burnt sienna, burnt ocher, Indian red. Van Dyke brown, 
indigo, Indian yellow, vermilion, orange mineral, carmine, ultramarine, 
emerald green, stil de grain, lampblack, cobalt blue, red oxide of iron, 
Chinese (zinc) white, and for the lights the more opaque Cremnitz 
white. 

In addition to the above we might mention aureolin or cobalt yel- 
low, a transparent color, excellent for landscape painting, but not very 
stable in moist air, cadmium yellow, which is of good body and washes 
well, and is very useful in forming tints for clouds and sunset scenes. 
Orpiment or King's yellow cannot be used with white lead or chrome 
j'ellow, because it tends to blacken in such combination, and Naples 
yellow, a pigment of great opacity, and very useful in flesh tints, will 
decompose in the presence of other metallic oxides, but can be replaced 
by a mixture of cadmium yellow and Chinese white. For glazing pur- 
poses gamboge is used in the line of yellows. The madder lakes, red, 
rose and pink, are very permanent and brilliant and form a valuable 
addition to the line of reds. In the line of greens, oxide of chromium 



L 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 105 

green, viridian and terra verte should be mentioned as very staple and 
useful. French blue replaces the native ultramarine, which is too ex- 
pensive and too easily destroyed. Cerulean blue is very permanent, 
when well prepared. Prussian blue is changeable in the presence of 
alkalies, which tend to turn it brown, and its use should be avoided, 
unless on surfaces, where alkalies are not evident. Antwerp blue is 
more unstable in water color than Prussian blue. Vine black or blue 
black is preferable to lampblack, where intensity is not required, be- 
cause not so sooty. Purple madder or purple lake is useful for produc- 
ing warm shadows. 

Brown madder, burnt umber and raw umber form good additions in 
the line of brown pigments. As to gray pigments, ultramarine ash is 
furnished as a moist color and assists in producing good atmospheric 
effects. Neutral tint is a gray compounded of blue, red and yellow, and 
cannot be relied upoi) for permanence. "Aquarelle" painting is usually 
done on paper, which must not be too coarse in texture, nor too heavy, 
but also on parchment, silk satin or wood, without first preparing a 
ground. 

— 271 — 
How to Prepare and Apply Luminous Paint. 

To the best of our knowledge, chemistry knows of four 
sulphides only that have the faculty of being phosphorescent in the 
dark, when they have been exposed to daylight for a few minutes. 
They are the sulphides of calcium, strontium, barium and zinc; in 
other words, combinations of these elements or metals and sulphur. 
Sulphide of zinc, made in the usual way, will not phosphoresce ; to do 
this, it has to undergo a special process, that of being distilled in 
vacuum. 

Sulphide of barium phosphoresces orange, but only for a few minutes 
after exposure to light; and is therefore of less use than the sulphides of 
strontium and zinc, which give a greenish light, that, however, extin- 
guishes in from one to two hours. Then there remains only one ma- 
terial of any value as a luminous body: the sulphide of calcium, which, 
in its pure state, gives a yellow light, but can, by proper treatment — 
that is, by heating to red heat and the addition of small quantities of 
salt of bismuth — be made into a body that will give a violet light for 
at least twenty-four hours after each exposure. 

For interior use the paint is applied on paper, and two coats are gen- 
erally sufficient. It is prepared as follows : One pound of clear white 
gelatine or transparent white glue is dissolved in boiling water, say 
five pints, and into this is stirred three pounds of sulphide of calcium 
and one ounce of glycerin. During application the paint must be kept 
warm and constantly stirred. 

For exterior use the sulphide of calcium should be mixed with clear 
damar varnish in the proportion of one pound pigment to two pounds 
varnish, applied in two coats, which, when dry, must be coated with 
clear damar varnish. 

Phosphorus will not answer for luminous paint, and you had best 
ask your nearest druggist to procure for you sulphide of calcium in fine 
powder, and caution him that it must be in good condition or you will 



io6 7ip PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

not be able to use it. If your druggist has the material on hand it will 
be best to try some of it in a sm^ll way before you go to a lot of ex- 
pense with material that may be imperfect. 

— 272 — 

Value of Carbon Black and Mineral Black. 

A sample submitted, although containing a certain percentage of 
carbon, does not come within the strict sense of the term carbon black. 
The proper name for it among paint men is mineral black, because,, 
aside from carbon, it contains slates in very large proportion. It is a 
fine specimen of the same paint material that is mined in the neighbor- 
hood of Muncy, Pa., and is sold under such names as Keystone black 
filler, Muncy black filler, iron filler, etc. This sample is slightly more 
black than those quoted, which have quite a brownish tone, especially 
in -the lower grades. They are quite useful in the preparation of iron 
fillers, but do not command a high market price. We find that they are 
quoted in carload lots, packed in good barrels, at anywhere from nine 
to twelve dollars per ton, f. o. b. works. Carbon black, as it is under- 
stood by the paint trade, is gas black, produced by the combustion of 
natural gas. It is free from grit and is the purest form of carbon that 
can be obtained, and is sold at anywhere from seven cents to twenty 
cents per pound, according to quality. The better grades are much 
stronger than the very best calcined lampblacks, but do not produce 
tints as clean. However, the hue of carbon black is much blacker than 
that of lampblack or of mineral black, and it is from ten to fifteen times 
as strong as the latter. 

— 273 — 

English, American and Imitation Vermilion. 

English, Chinese and French are of one and the same 
composition and come under the head of quicksilver vermilion, no 
matter where made. The quicksilver vermilion made in the United 
States is known under the name of English, and when sold in bulk it is 
usually branded quicksilver vermilion. In Europe it is simply known 
as vermilion or cinnabar red, white the aniline substitutes are known 
as vermilionettes. Quicksilver vermilion, no matter what may be the 
process, wet or dry, consists of 200 parts by weight of mercury or 
quicksilver, and 32 parts by weight of sulphur, producing when com- 
bined sulphide of mercury. The Chinese vermilion is generally accept- 
ed as the finest grade of quicksilver vermilion. It is said that some 
quicksilver vermilion is still made from cinnabar, the natural sulphide 
of mercury, but as the color of this product is not as good as that of 
the artificially prepared one and but little of the material mined, there 
cannot be much of a demand for it. 

Under the term American vermilion a red pigment is generally un- 
derstood, which is known in Europe simply as chrome red, or scarlet 
red chromate, and sold under such names as Persian scarlet, Imperial 
scarlet, Derby red, Chinese scarlet, Victoria red, etc. This pigment is 
known to chemists and color makers as basic chromate of lead, and is 
very crystalline in structure, and cannot be ground fine in oil or water 
without destroying its brilliancy. For this reason some manufacturers 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 107 

tone it up with aniline or other coal tar products, but this only makes it 
fade or change more rapidly on exposure. By imitation vermilion, 
that is often called American vermilion, we understand a pigment made 
as a substitute for English or quicksilver vermilion, consisting gener- 
ally of orange mineral or red lead and eosin or some other red dye stuff 
of coal tar origin. Under this head come also the red aniline color 
products, that have a mineral base, such as blanc fixe, barytes, whiting, 
clay or gypsum, or any of these in addition to orange mineral or red . 
lead. 

— 274 — 

Best Varnish for Hard Maple Floors. 

Give them three coats of white shellac varnish. If grain 
alcohol shellac is too high in price to let you out whole, try wood alco- 
hol white shellac. 

— ays- 
Method of Mixing Dry Lampblack Without Grinding for Tinting 

Purposes. 

Purchase only well calcined lampblack, that is free from 
greasy matter and wet it up first with turpentine, beating it into a stiff 
paste, then gradually add your linseel oil and driers under constant 
stirring. Should it still be lumpy, run through a fine paint strainer 
and it will not make your tint streaky. 

— 276 — 

Stopping the Suction in Plastered Walls. 

Where glue size will not stop the suction in walls or ceil- 
ings, a varnish size is the best remedy. Take good hard oil finish or 
copal varnish and thin it down with an equal measure of turpentine, 
or if this be too heavy, use two measures of turps to one of varnish. 
The condition of the surface must guide you in preparing the size. 
It must be so thin that it will dry flat, or very nearly flat. You must 
also see that the size is dry and hard before applying the paint, other- 
wise it may crawl or crack. 

— 277 — 

Paint for Hot Water Pipes and Steam Radiators. 

Most every paint and varnish manufacturer makes a paint 
suitable for the purpose named, and we would advise you to take ad- 
vantage of their experience, instead of wasting time and money on 
experiments. We shall, however, give you all the points we can on the 
subject. In the first place you must see that the surface is free from 
scale, rust and grease, and it is best to paint the pipes and radiators 
while warm, so that the paint 'may bake on, because when applied 
while cold and the paint is allowed to dry and the hot water or steam 
turned on suddenly, the paint is liable to blister or scale off. Nor must 
the heat be so great that it will boil the paint during the drying and 
baking process. Select such colors only as will not be affected by heat 



io8 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

to any extent, have them ground fine in japan or varnish, thin with 
turpentine to the consistency of varnish and add a good baking varnish 
sufficient to produce a glossy paint of good working consistency. 
Where white is required, do not use white lead, but zinc white only. 
For black use ivory black, and for tints use also zinc white as the base. 
Yellow ocher, sienna raw and burnt, burnt umber, Venetian red, ultra- 
marine blue and zinc yellow are the only pigments that will not change 
color appreciably when used on heated surfaces. For bronzing, select 
•only the very best and finest grades, because all the ordinary bronzes 
darken rapidly on heated surfaces. Mix japan gold size and pale bak- 
ing varnish in equal parts and thin with three times as much turpentine 
and add sufficient bronze powder to work well and apply. If the luster 
is not good enough apply a coat of the liquid over the paint, and while 
still tacky brush on the dry bronze and polish with a woolen, cloth. 
Paint dealers usually carry a stock of radiator and other enamels, 
bronzes and baking japans or baking varnishes. 

— 278 — 

Simple Test for Purity of Turpentine. 

Drop a small quantity on a piece of white paper, expose it 
to the air and if the turpentine is pure no traces will be left. If oil 
or other foreign matter is present, the paper will be greasy or soiled. 
This test can be applied by any one and requires no skill. 

— 279 — 

Hanging Heavy Embossed or Pressed Wall Paper. 

We will begin by giving you a few practical hints. In hanging 
paper, where the room has been occupied for a time, it is essential that 
the room be cleaned, the flbor washed, the ceiling and walls well 
brushed down, and, if there are any flyspecks visible, washed down. 
When beginning work the paper hanger should have handy a piece of 
pumice stone, a basin of clean water, a clean sponge and towel, and use 
the same when and wherever needed. It is best to use a round brush 
for the paste, because easier handled than a flat one, and cleaner, also, 
as it can be turned in the hand, .thus preventing the paste from soiling 
the printed side of the paper. 

It is not so very difficult to hang pressed or heavy embossed wall 
papers, but greater care in handling is required and more time must 
be necessarily taken than is the case with ordinary goods. In the first 
place, it is necessary that the walls should be lined with brown paper, 
so as to give a more absorbtive surface to the paste on the embossed 
paper, so that the raised or pressed figures will not be unduly moist- 
ened. Embossed paper will not stick well to a hard finished or plas- 
tered wall without this lining paper. The ordinary wheat flour paste 
will serve well enough for fastening the lining paper to the wall, but 
it must be quite heavy for embossed or pressed paper. Each piece of 
the embossed paper must be trimmed dry with straight edge and knife 
before pasting, and while this requires greater care in applying the 
paste, it is necessary, in order to get the piece quickly on the wall be- 
fore the paste has an opportunity to soak into the relief figures and 
make them limp and flat. A very soft brush must be used in applying 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 109 

the paper in place of the stiff brush of roller, and the seams should be 
allowed to dry before applying the seam roller, and even then the roller 
must be handled gently, because the color leaves embossed paper more 
readily than is the case in ordinary papers. The principal point is ta 
handle the paper delicately, without resorting to the usual pressing in 
or stretching so common in hanging ordinary goods. 

— 280 — 

Waterproof Putty for Joints and Knotholes in Wooden Floors. 

A mixture of five parts, by measure, of fresh cheese (the 
so-called smearcase or cottage cheese) and one part, by measure, of 
unslaked pulverized lime, kneaded together to a stiff dough, makes a 
cement or putty that becomes stone hard and is insoluble in water, 
and is, therefore, the material best adapted for filling joints and knot- 
holes in wooden floors that are frequently washed. By the addition of 
mineral colors, such as raw or burnt sienna, raw or burnt umber, yel- 
low or red ocher, mineral brown, Van Dyke brown, Venetian or In- 
dian red, you can color this putty to any desired shade. 

— 281 — 

Treatment of Varnished Floors Before Revamishing. 

The scratches and indentures from shoenails will surely 
show through any coat or coats of varnish that may be applied, unless- 
the floor is sandpapered first with coarse and then with smooth sand- 
paper. The sandpapering must be done with the grain of the wood or 
the scratches made by it will also show through the varnish. If two 
coats of varnish are not considered too expensive, I would recommend 
a first coat of hard drying rubbing varnish, not flowed on, but rubbed 
out well and if the desired effect will permit, slightly stained to hide 
scratches and indentures with the appropriate color (ground in japan 
and first thinned somewhat with the varnish before it is added to the 
rubbing). This coat, if the job is to be a very good one, should be 
mossed with hair and pumice, but the latter proceeding may also be 
dispensed with and the surface merely dusted before finishing coat is 
applied, which should consist of a hard drying, yet elastic, floor var- 
nish. If the job is to be hurried very much, a full coat of shellac 
varnish may be given in place of the rubbing varnish, and the floor 
varnish on top of this. Unless the floor is to have a very high luster, 
the two coats of varnish mentioned are sufiicient. One gallon of var- 
nish should cover from 450 to 500 square feet of floor space, one coat^ 
if the old varnish is not too much worn. 

— 282 — 

Water Paint or OH Paint That Will Stand Without Peeling or Crack- 

ing on a Cement Wall. 

The difficulty in painting comparatively fresh cement surfaces 
is not so much in the selection of the paint material, as in pre- 
paring the surface itself, so as to isolate or neutralize whatever caustic 
properties there may be that would tend to destroy the vehicle and, to 
some extent, the color of the paint. We consider it perfectly safe to- 
coat a cement surface that is one year old and has been well washed. 



no 7sg PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

and rinsed with clear water and allowed to dry thoroughly with a 
linseed oil paint, same as a plastered wall. If the surface, however, be 
fresh, say less than one month old, we consider the dilute sulphuric 
acid treatment safest and best. To one gallon of water add twelve 
fluid ounces of oil of vitriol and with a swab apply this solution to the 
surface, repeating it when the first application appears dry. Allow to 
stand a day or so, then rinse with clear water, and when dry priming 
may be begun. This treatment will turn any excess of lime in the ce- 
ment into sulphate of lime, which is harmless to the oil in the paint. 
It also produces a uniformly absorbent surface to which the paint will 
adhere well, while without this treatment there will be spots in the 
surface that are less porous than others. 

If the cement surface is one or more months old, the sulphuric acid 
treatment may be omitted and a wash of four ounces of bicarbonate 
of ammonia dissolved in two gallons of water given in its place, in 
which case the surface may be primed with oil as soon as the wash 
has dried. For exposed work, we should certainly suggest none other 
than linseed oil paint, while for interior work a good water paint will 
do very well, providing the wall will not require frequent washing. 
In any case, the walls should be treated to a wash as above, in order to 
make the surface non-caustic and absorbent. Although we have never 
tried it ourselves, this suggestion of an old veteran in the painting 
business strikes us favorably: Thin down 33 deg. silicate of soda 
(soluble glass), with its own volume of warm water and apply one 
coat of this to the surface. When dry, which will be in less than 
two hours, give a coat of water paint made from Paris white and 
earth paint with starch for binder, repeating uutil good body is ob- 
tained, and when dry rub down with fine sandpaper. Then give a 
finishing coat of the dilute soluble glass, same as for first coat, and 
the job is finished, giving a stone hard surface. 

— 283 — 

How to Finish White and Yellow Pine. 

The very best, though not the cheapest, way to finish white pine 
is to see that the work is well sandpapered with the grain, then 
thoroughly dusted. Give at least one coat white shellac varnish 
and one coat of inside varnish; if this is too expensive substitute 
liquid filler for the shellac. For hard or yellow pine finish, apply one 
coat orange shellac varnish and one or two coats light hard oil finish, 
or omit the shellac and apply hard varnish instead. A filler is not re- 
quired for this wood. 

— 284 — 

Various Ways of Finishing Hard Wood Floors. 

In all cases see that the floor is clean, well planed and dry, put 
on a coat of three parts boiled oil, one part turpentine and one part 
japan, which may be colored, if desirable, with such coloring matter 
as will give the proper effect, but only enough coloring should be 
given to produce a stain, not a paint, so as to permit the grain of the 
wood to appear. When this is dry, apply a coat of paste filler, also 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. iii 

colored, when desirable, thinned with turpentine, and remove the sur- 
plus before it sets too hard, by wiping across the grain. When dry, 
rub smooth with sandpaper and putty up with putty of the proper 
color and hardness. So far this method should be followed, no matter 
what finish is desired, whether the floor is to be waxed or varnished. 
If it is to be varnished, one coat at least of shellac varnish is given, 
followed by more coats of shellac or good hard drying floor varnish, 
according to choice. The gloss of the varnish may be dulled by moss- 
ing or hairing with pumice and oil. 

When a floor is to be waxed, the wax may be applied directly on 
the filler, or over an intervening coat of shellac varnish with a brush 
and polished with a large brush especially adapted to the purpose. 
The floor wax is prepared by melting in a water bath pure yellow 
beeswax and turpentine, but good floor wax polishes are oflFered ready 
made by many manufacturers. 

When the floor is fairly smooth and the wood of close grain, the 
paste filler may be dispensed with, but a coat of shellac varnish should 
be given whether the floor is to be waxed or varnished. 

— 285 — 

Soluble or Water Glass for Floors. 

• 

We have no experience with the use of soluble glass (silicate 
of soda) for floors, but can give you the following for what 
it may be worth and you can try it, the expense not being very great. 
The floor must be first thoroughly cleansed and cracks filled with a 
cement made from water glass and whiting ; this dry, put on a coat of 
water glass, which is allowed to become hard, and followed by another 
coat when dry with pumice stone and oil. We should, however, cau- 
tion you against using it on floors that are exposed to considerable 
dampness. 

— 286 — 

Carbolic Acid and Soft Soap for Removing Paint and Varnish. 

We find that concentrated carbolic acid applied heavy on 
paint or varnish acts very well on small spaces, especially in a hori- 
zontal position. But on large surfaces, and especially on a vertical 
surface, a medium to hold on in a heavy layer is required to make it 
act. Soft soap, strongly caustic, is the best material to mix with the 
carbolic acid, but great care is necessary to avoid contact of the hands 
with either the acid or the mixture. It has been said for exterior work, 
where the refined acid is too expensive, the crude article will serve as 
well in admixture with soft soap, but it appears that here the latter 
does the actual work rather than, the acid, because trials demonstrated 
that on the same paint the soap alone acted more rapidly than the 
mixture. The soap alone, however, raises the grain of soft wood, 
while the mixture does not. In short, our opinion of carbolic acid as 
a paint and varnish remover is not an exalted one, for the reason that 
the material is rather expensive; that it penetrates too deeply to admit 
of immediate repainting, and on account of its odor. There are several 
paint removers on the market that are highly recommended ; why not 
try one or several of these? 



112 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 287 — 

Proportion of Linseed Oil Required to Grind Certain Pigments Into 

Paste. 

In the following we shall give the average percentage of 
oil in one hundred pounds of paste, because no strict rule can be laid 
down, the percentage of oil required depending on the condition of 
some of the pigments and fineness of grinding : 

White lead, pure, eight or nine per cent. 

Red lead, pure, twelve per cent. 

Sublimed white lead, ten per cent. 

Zinc white, French, sixteen per cent. 

Zinc white, American, eighteen per cent. 

Whiting putty, sixteen per cent. 

Barytes, from eight to ten per cent. 

Whiting paste, twenty per cent. 

China clay, twenty-three per cent. 

Silica, or silex floated, twenty-five per cent. 

Terra Alba, twenty-two per cent. 

Drop black, fifty per cent. 

Lamp black, sixty-five to seventy-two per cent. 

Gas black, eighty to eigthy-four per cent. 

Mineral black, thirty-five to forty per cent. 

Graphite, or plumbago, thirty to thirty-five per cent. 

Chinese, or Prussian blue, fifty per cent. 

Ultramarine blue, thirty per cent. 

Mineral brown, twenty-two to twenty-five per cent. 

Vandyke brown, forty-five to fifty per cent. 

Burnt sienna, Italian, fifty per cent. 

Burnt sienna, American, thirty-five per cent. 

Raw sienna, Italian, fifty-five per cent. 

Raw sienna, American, forty per cent. 

Burnt Turkey umber, forty-two to forty-five per cent. 

Burnt umber, American, thirty-five per cent. 

Raw Turkey umber, forty-five per cent. 

Raw umber, American, thirty-five per cent. 

Chrome green, chemically pure, from twenty-six to thirty-five per 
cent., according to shade. 

Chrome green, commercial grades, from fifteen to twenty-three per 
cent., according to shade, the lightest shades requiring least. 

French ocher, thirty to thirty-three per cent. 

Yellow ocher, American, twenty-eight to thirty per cent. 

Oxford ocher, English, twenty-five to thirty per cent 

Indian red, twenty per cent. 

Red oxides, twenty-three to twenty-five per cent. 

Venetian red, twenty-three to twenty-six per cent. 

Tuscan red, twenty-five per cent. 

Rose pink, thirty to thirty-five per cent. 

Carmine, French, fifty to fifty-five per cent. 

American v.ermilion, twenty to twenty-two per cent. 

English vermilion, fifteen to eighteen per cent. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 113 

Artificial vermilion, usually fifteen per cent., but ranging as high as 
thirty per cent, in some brands of light specific gravity. 

Light chrome yellow, twenty per cent. 

Medium chrome yellow, twenty-six per cent. 

Dark, or orange yellow, twenty-two per cent. 

Yellow lake, French, thirty-eight per cent. 

In the list (given we refer to pure pigments only, excepting where 
otherwise stated, as in the case of commercial chrome green. 

— 288 — 

Copper Paint for Ships* Bottoms. 

We assume that this refers to the copper paint used for 
protecting the bottoms of wooden vessels against the accumulation 
of sea growth and barnacles, that tends to impede the progress of the 
ship. We would say that the formulas for these paints are proprietary, 
at least those that have a large sale, and that ship owners do not take 
kindly to experimenting with new brands and seem inclined to favor 
established goods, though even these fail sometimes to give satis- 
factory results. As far as we can learn, the best copper paints consist 
of oxide of copper, ground fine in such a medium as pine tar and crude 
turpentine and reduced to proper consistency for brushing with spirits 
of turpentine, rosin spirit or other kindred solvents. Some brands, we 
believe, have creosote in addition, but it is said that this is not a good 
feature. Some experimenting with the materials named will be ne- 
cessary, if success is to be attained. 

— 289 — 

To Make White Lead Dry a Dead Flat on Walls. 

We are told by several experienced painters that the ad- 
dition of a very small portion of clear water will accomplish your pur- 
pose. Beat up your keg lead first with a paddle, then stir in your 
water until it unites with the lead, add your coloring matter and drier 
and reduce to working consistency with pure turpentine. The small 
portion of water present in the paint will do no harm, as it will evapor- 
ate as the paint dries. 

— 290 — 

How to Mix Freestone and Ivory Tints and Various Greens. 

Freestone is, as near as we can describe it, a sandstone of 
the reddish drab variety, but any stone that is of the sandy or gritty va- 
riety may be termed freestone. The nearest approach to the color will 
result from a mixture of ten parts white lead, five parts French ocher, 
one part Venetian red and one-half part lampblack. Ivory can be pro- 
duced by mixing one part of raw sienna with 100 parts of white lead. 
Wlien cost is no object, and a fine, clear tint is wanted, two parts 
French yellow lake, one part of first class raw Italian sienna mixed 
with 97 parts of white lead (or zinc white for inside work) will bring 
about excellent results. 

Subdued green can be made by mixing Prussian blue and lemon 
chrome yellow, adding raw umber and a little white until desired effect 



114 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

is obtained, or the raw umber and white may be added to commercial 
chrome green, or Brunswick green, as it is termed in Europe. Moss 
green is made by mixing Prussian blue, medium chrome yellow, raw 
umber and white or chrome green with raw umber and white. Pro- 
portions vary according to the strength of the various colors used. 
Silk green can be made by mixing Prussian blue witTi lemon chrome 
yellow and French yellow lake. If the latter is too expensive, use 
Dutch pink instead. Proportions required depend on the depth of hue 
and richness of color desired. 

Greenstone is made from white lead or zinc white chrome or Bruns- 
wick green and drop black. 

— 291 — 

Cause of the Cracking of Grained Work. 

This subject has been under discussion in a master painters' 
organization and various reasons were given by experienced 
men. Some of the speakers laid the blame on green varnish, others 
on the fattiness of the graining color and others again on the ground 
being too oily. Boiling down the various opinions, we take it that in 
order to prevent grained surfaces from both peeling and cracking, the 
ground color should be pure keg lead, tinted with oil color to suit, 
thinned with turpentine and liquid drier only, so that it will dry flat 
as possible; when oil color is used for the graining it must not be 
fatty, but fresh goods, thinned with turpentine and drier only, as the 
colors contain enough oil for binder at any rate. 

Lastly, the graining should be allowed to stand afleast two months 
before being varnished over, and even then a heavy varnish must not 
be employed, but a light bodied outside varnish or a varnish that has 
been cut with turpentine. 

— 292 — 

Amount of Japan Drier to Be Used in Paint. 

This depends very much on the nature of the pigment 
used in the paint, as well as on the strength of the drier itself and on 
the time allotted for drying, as well as on the application. Oil paint 
that is brushed out well and uniformly will dry hard in the same space 
of time with one-half of the quantity of drier as a coat that is laid on 
heavy. A good oil and turpentine liquid drier that is free from rosin 
is the best article to select, and we would say that where the paint con- 
sists mainly of pure lead one-half pint or drier to 7^ pints of raw hn- 
seed oil is sufficient to make the paint dry in from 18 to 24 hours in 
moderately dry weather. In very hot weather this quantity can be 
reduced to one-half, while in cold and damp weather it should be 
doubled. When the paint consists of mineral pigments, such as min- 
eral brown, red oxides, Venetian red, ocher, etc., one pint of japan or 
liquid drier to seven pints of raw linseed oil is not excessive, and in 
blacks, bronze greens, Vandyke brown, etc., even a larger quantity is 
required. When boiled linseed oil is being used, instead of the raw 
oil, it is again necessary to find the drying quality of this boiled oil in 
order to ascertain how much, if any, additional drier is needed. You 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 115 

will see that no rule can be laid down for the painter to go by, and 
that you will have to experiment in order to see with how little drier 
you can get along, always remembering that the addition of drier does 
not enhance the wearing quality of paint. 

— 293 — 

Quick Drying, Colorless Varnish for Silver Articles. 

A formula for a preparation that will effectually protect 
silver and similar metal from tarnishing is given by Richard Hale in 
an exchange, as follows : . Soluble guncotton, one-eighth Troy ounce, 
five ounces amyl-acetate, two ounces petroleum spirit, one ounce wood 
naphtha, placed in a small glass bottle or jar until guncotton is dis- 
solved and filtered. 

Care must be taken in preparing this varnish and it must be kept 
away from any flame, it being very combustible. Before it is applied 
to the metal the latter must be cleaned and polished in the usual way. 

If the preparation is too troublesome for you, we would advise you 
to try the bronzing medium, sold under the name of banana oil, which 
you can obtain from any dealer in bronzes, etc. 

— 294 — 

Imitation of Gold Color for Lettering. 

The Standard Dictionary gives the formula as 11 parts white, 
42 parts orange and 47 parts yellow. But almost every painter 
has his own way of mixing paint in imitation of gold. The best imita- 
tion we have seen was made from 60 parts by weight of flake white in 
japan, 33 parts lemon chrome yellow in japan, 5 parts deep English 
vermilion in oil and 2 parts burnt sienna in oil. A paler imitation of 
gold was made from 65 parts flake white, 32 parts lemon yellow, i 
part light chrome green and 2 parts bufnt sienna, all ground in japan. 
A strong gold color, that will work out light and free und6r the strip- 
ing pencil, may be made from medium chrome yellow, zinc white and a 
trifle red. For old gold, mix deep orange yellow with French yellow 
ocher. 

The best plan is to practice some, having some gold lettering or 
striping that has been varnished over for a guide, matching as close 
as is possible with paint. 

— 295 — 

Best Way to Paint Floors of Kitchens and Porches. 

It is almost impossible for a paint maker to produce a paint 
to suit any and all conditions of floors, because the kind of lum- 
ber diflFers in various localities and floors are subjected to different 
usage. In kitchens where much washing is done, the soap suds are 
allowed to remain on the floor for hours and act as a paint remover in 
a slow, but certain manner. And very frequently, instead of such 
floors being simply mopped up, they are scrubbed energetically with 
soap and brush. Porch floors are painted regardless of the moisture 
from underneath and without a suitable priming. 



I 



n6 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

We would suggest the following for kitchen floors : If the floor is 
old and has not been painted before, have it well cleaned and allow to- 
dry. Get all the dirt out of cracks and nail holes, then prime with 
equal parts linseed oil, japan and turpentine. When dry, putty up all 
cracks and nail holes with putty colored like the subsequent coats ot 
paint. Use equal parts lead and zinc and mix it so- as to dry flat 
on first coat, but for the finish use equal parts of rubbing varnish and 
turpentine. This will give you a half gloss and will wear well. For 
a new pine floor, prime with white lead and oil, applying it thin, putty 
up and proceed as with the old floor. For maple or other close grained 
wood, proceed as for new pine, but oak floors should be first filled with 
paste hardwood filler and then painted as above. For porch floors^ 
prime with pure white lead, thinning with boiled oil ; when dry, putty 
with material the color of your paint. Succeeding coat should be 
based on pure lead in oil, but finishing coat should contain some zinc 
white in order to give proper hardness. Brush out each coat to the 
utmost and give plenty of time between coats and do not hold the last 
coat too oily. 

— 296 — 
Lithopone White. 

Lithopone, or Lithophone, as it is sometimes spelled, is a sulphide of 
zinc white, while what we know as zinc white is oxide of zinc. 

It is a compound of zinc sulphide and barium sulphate, and was not 
originally intended for the use of the painter, although it has now re- 
placed white lead as well as zinc white in some industries where these 
pigments were once largely used. Charlton white, Griffiths white, 
patent zinc white, are all of similar composition, and the material is 
also produced in this country under various names. The foreign im- 
portations of lithopone are offered in three or four grades, as green 
seal, red seal, blue seal and yellow seal, the green seal being whitest, 
finest and most opaque. The specific gravity of this pigment is be- 
tween that of white lead and zinc white, and its body or covering 
power superior to that of ordinary zinc white. While it is unaflfected 
by sulphur gases, etc., and therefore a stable pigment for use about 
chemical laboratories and for interior use generally, it does not stand 
exposure to sunlight as well as white lead or zinc, and is very apt to 
blacken when used on exposed .surfaces. Nor can it be mixed with 
white lead or Paris green or any pigment having lead or copper for 
its base, because of the double decomposition that is liable to take place 
in such mixture. When lithopone is mixed with water or oil or pale 
varnish and applied as a paint on surfaces exposed to sunlight, it will 
on drying assume a decidedly grayish tint, which turns white again 
over night, returning to gray again during sunlight exposure, and this 
will alternate until the paint has become thoroughly hard. It is, there- 
fore, not a safe, all around pigment for house painters' use. 

— 297 — 
Method of Staining Oak Black. 

The most effective way to stain oak black, making the 
stain penetrate deeply into the wood, is to take iron filings, place them 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 117 

into a strong stoneware pitcher or strong glass jar, pouring over this 
a mixture of equal parts of oil of vitriol and soft water, stirring the de- 
coction frequently with a glass rod or wooden stick until the liquid has 
assumed a greenish color. This liquid is applied to the oak repeatedly 
until the black effect desired is obtained, and then the surface is rinsed 
with weak soda water, and finally with clear water and allowed to dry. 
The solution should be applied with a swab made by tying old cloth 
around the end of a stick, and great care taken to keep the acid from 
touching the hands, face or clothes. Nor should the solution be 
allowed to stand about the shop, except it be properly labeled as to 
contents, and well covered. 

This makes a good neutral black stain, neither of the bluish tone of 
the aniline blacks, nor the brownish tone produced by other decoctions. 

If a deeply pentrating stain is not required, a decoction made by 
boiling green walnut shells in water may be substituted, but four or 
five applications will be required. A nut gall solution, to which a 
trifle of sulphate of iron (copperas) has been added, also produces a 
good stain, but none will penetrate so deeply as the first mentioned. 

— 298 — 

How to Paint a Whitewashed Brick Wall. 

An engine room had received two coats of lime whitewash with 
plenty of salt. This coating did not brush off easily, and the owners 
wished it painted. The temperature of the room is about 75 deg. F. 

If the whitewash has been applied recently, say within 
two or three months, it is best to scrape off as much as possible and 
give the wall a wash of strong vinegar and let it dry. If the white- 
wash is over six months old, give it a good brushing down with a stiff 
broom so as to remove all that is scaly, and then give the wall a 
wash of white lead, using about nine pounds of keg lead to five pints of 
raw linseed oil, one-half pint turpentine and one-half pint good liquid 
drier that is free from rosin or gum. This wash will penetrate into 
the wall, binding the remaining whitewash so that it will not peel and 
take succeeding coats along with it. 

Now putty up joints, if a good, smooth job is desired, using good 
linseed oil putty, to which add some dry white lead and a little drier. 

On this flat surface give another coat of white lead, which should 
be held half flat, if a gloss coat is to be given as the finish. For a job 
to stand frequent cleaning, as is the case in the walls of an engine 
room, it is best to finish with a coat of zinc white that has been mixed 
with a pale, hard drying varnish. You need have no fear of the effect 
of the limewash upon white lead paint if you neutralize it with the 
vinegar wash referred to, nor if the limewash is over six months old. 
After you have the whitewash securely bound to the wall with the 
first coat of lead, as noted, you may proceed as you would in painting 
a plastered wall. 

— 299 — 

A Bronzing Liciuid That Will Hold Up Heavy Bronze. 

A bronzing liquid was wanted for bronzing picture frames with 
"heavier or cheaper varnishes. The inquirer had tried varnish reduced 



Ii8 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

with turpentine, but the powder immediately precipitated and did not 
have a metallic luster after application. 

You cannot expect heavy bronze to hold up in a thin liquid of 
such consistency as is required to allow the bronze to spread 
and flow out well and yet have a good luster. Nor can you expect 
that heavy bronze will mix with a stout liquid and keep from hardening- 
when once settled in the pot. The best bronzing liquid is one that 
hardens most rapidly throughout, because it does not give the bronze 
an opportunity to oxidize, which is proved by the fact that bronze 
which is baked on by heat has the best luster and retains it longest. 

We would suggest a mixture of equal parts of gold size japan or 
coach japan and a good grade of pale coach varnish, thinned with pure 
spirits of turpentine, to which is added only enough bronze to give 
the luster desired, and only enough mixed at a time as can be worked 
up, in say fifteen mintes or so. If it sets too rapidly under the brush 
to admit of free application, dissolve some white or yellow beeswax in 
hot turpentine (in a water bath) and use this for thinning the japan 
and varnish in place of the clear turpentine, but one ounce of wax is 
sufficient for one quart of turps. 

A quick bronzing liquid that will keep bronze powder soft, though it 
will settle quickly, may be made by dissolving three pounds of pale 
orange shellac in one gallon wood alcohol, adding two ounces of gum 
camphor, straining the solution through fine muslin or cheesecloth. 
This liquid will require no more than one-fourth of its own measure of 
bronze, and the preparation must be deftly applied, as it will rub up 
again if gone over too often with the brush. 

— 300 — 
Mucilage for Labels on Tin Cans. 

Mix four parts by measure of commercial silicate of soda (water 
glass) and only one part by measure of pale syrup. If not thick 
enough, add sugar until it is of proper consistency. 

— 301 — 
Fireproof Paint. 

We do not believe that a really fireproof paint is or has 
ever been in existence. From the materials suggested in the follow- 
ing, we think, however, that the preparation is fire resisting,' though 
we cannot see how it would stand, as is claimed, exposure to all sorts 
of weather for thirty years. The formula as published is: Equal parts 
by weight of comnion salt, ^lum, silicate of soda (water glass) and 
tungstate of soda are mixed with four parts of lime and all ground 
fine in enough boiled linseed oil to make a stout paint, which is ap- 
plied in the usual manner. 

— 302 — 

Coating the Inside of Bakers' Delivery Wagons to Prevent Bulging. 

We do not think that this feature comes within the scope 
of the painter, but rather belongs to the wagon builder. Sheathing, 
similar to that used in railway baggage cars, should be employed 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 119 

on the inside of such wagon bodies and tops. The sides and top could 
be lined with sheet zinc, placing roofing felt or similar material be- 
tween the wood and the sheet zinc. As paint, however, does not well 
adhere to zinc, the surface requires treatment to make the paint hold 
on, which can be done by first giving it a wash of the following solu- 
tion : One part, by weight, each of chloride of copper, nitrate of cop- 
per, sal ammoniac, dissolved in 64 parts of water. Do not use a tin 
pot for making solution, but an earthen or glass vessel. When solu- 
tion is made, add one part of commercial muriatic acid and apply with 
a flat brush. The zinc will blacken, but on drying out there will be 
a g^ay film, on which any paint will adhere. Coat with flat drying 
paint and varnish over with good, hard rubbing varnish. 

— 303 — 
Repainting Soft Brick That Has Shelled. 

We do not know of anything that will prevent brick from 
shelling or chipping, because this is mostly caused by defective ma- 
terial in the brick or defective manufacture of the same. Soft brick 
will absorb much more moisture than hard brick and neither should 
ever be painted, excepting after a prolonged dry spell, because the 
moisture that is kept in the brick by the paint will freeze during cold 
weather, expand and make the paint scale and the brick shell off or 
chip. For repainting under such conditions, we can only give you this 
advice : Do it only at the owner's risk, unless after a long dry spell in 
summer; clean the surface down well, removing all loose paint and 
shell of brick ; give a good priming of raw oil with very little pigment 
in it and when dry, putty up. If you can afford to give three coats, 
make your second coat stout, using part pure white lead (at least one- 
third), thinning with two parts raw oil and one part turpentine and 
drier; use it stout, but rub well into the brick, then apply your finish- 
ing coat, as you like, flat or glossy, but in the latter case, use good 
boiled linseed oil. If you must get along with two coats, see that you 
get some lead in the priming. 

— 304 — 

Enameling the Interior of a Refrigerator in White. 

The specifications for finishing the inside of a large refrigerator in 
white enamel provided that nothing should be used which would give 
off any odor, and that it must resist hot or cold water, acids, lye, etc. 

Your specifications are such that we do not care to give 
you any suggestion and accept the responsibility for its success or 
failure. We rather believe that there is no so-called enamel paint that 
will withstand all that you mention, real enameling being the only 
process that can be depended upon under such conditions. You do not 
mention what the interior of this particular refrigerator is lined with, 
and as we presume the material to be sheet zinc, we would say that 
you must prepare this surface with the solution referred to in No. 301 
and then give a coat of zinc white in oil, thinned with turpentine, and let 
it dry hard, then sandpaper smooth. If this does not cover well, give 
another coat, which also sandpaper smooth. Saturate some of the 



120 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

best French zinc white with pure grain alcohol and pass it through a 
fine strainer into a solution of bleached shellac in pure grain alcohol, 
stirring constantly to prevent lumping. This will give you a quick 
white coating that will lose all odor in a very short time, but which 
must be used immediately after being mixed, as zinc white rapidly 
disintegrates shellac or spirit varnishes. As before mentioned, we do 
not assume any responsibility in making this suggestion. 

— 305 — 

Staining and Finishing Store Fixtures in Dark Oak That Have Been 

Stained and Finished in Cherry, 
In order to make any kind of a job, you will have to 
remove the varnish first, either by sandpapering or with varnish re- 
mover (and we should suggest a mixture of aqua ammonia, two parts, 
and turpentine, one part), which will probably remove the stain, also, 
especially if it was a water stain. If this should be the case you'll 
have clear sailing, as the stain that remained in the grain of the wood 
only will not interfere much with your dark oak stain. Should you, 
however, be unsuccessful in removing the cherry stain, you will have 
to make your dark oak stain on a different plan, more in the nature of 
a paint than a stain, and you will have to leave out red entirely from 
your mixture, making it on the antique oak plan, because the red from 
the cherry stain will give the proper blend. In the latter case you will 
require extra binders and driers in your staining preparation, as it 
cannot penetrate into the wood as well. We cannot give you any ad- 
vice on the finishing, as you have not informed us what grade of a job 
you expect to furnish your patron with, but would advise you to use 
a very high grade of varnish, because such fixtures are subject to con- 
siderable wear. 

— 306 — 

Stains in Freshly Kalsomined Walls and Ceilings. 

The walls and ceilings of a public building had been rough plastered 
with adamant three months before they finished with two coats of a 
cold water kalsomine. The painter was told that with this prepara- 
tion no size was necessary, but found, no matter how much he applied 
for first coat, the surface absorbed all, yet on applying the second coat, 
two days afterward, the paint worked as sleek as if over oil paint and 
promised to make a nice, uniform job, but when it dried out it was 
badly spotted and stained. The building was not heated and the glaz- 
ier was putting in the sash while the painting was going on. 

In the first place you should have used a size unless you 
were acquainted with the properties of the cold water paint from 
previous experience. It is not always safe to depend upon the claims 
of a label, especially where a large job comes into question. The 
cause for the spotting may be manifold, as for instance, the building 
not being heated, the first coat of paint may not have been dry or hard 
enough, or the plaster may have been entirely too porous to allow the 
paint to dry out uniform without sizing, or it may have been due to a 
fault in the paint itself. Whatever may have been the cause we would 



7i9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 121 

advise you to apply a size made as follows: One pound pale glue, 
one pound good bar soap and two pounds pulverized alum, each sepa- 
rately dissolved in one quart of boiling water. First mix glue and soap 
solutions, then while continually stirring add the alum solution and 
finally cold water enough to make a gallon of size. Apply the size cold 
and on top of this your kalsomine, or cold water paint, but if you do 
not care to risk this again, then prepare your own kalsomine, formulas 
for which you will find elsewhere in this book. It is possible, how- 
ever, that the spots may be due to the peculiar action of 
adamant plaster, which is extremely difficult to paint upon, especially 
before it has become thoroughly dry and seasoned. This plaster sets 
hard at once, but it does not become bone dry as quick as ordinary 
plaster. Unless the. laths are nailed with galvanized nails, adamant 
will act on the iron and cause stains which will show through any sub- 
sequent coats of paint or kalsomine after the plaster has dried out. 

— 307 — 
Prepared Paste for Paper Hangers. 

We do not know of any prepared paste for paper hanging 
that we should care to recommend, but in the following you will find 
something that is portable, and will serve the purpose very well. Place 
one quart of water, as hot as the hands will bear, into a pail and add a 
tablespoonful of pulverized alum. Have best wheat .flour sifted and 
put into the water, stirring it with the hand and work it as you would 
in making dough for bread until it is so stiff that you cannot beat it 
any longer. Have a clean paddle or stick and plenty of boiling water 
ready, which pour rapidly into the pail, stirring in the meantime until 
the paste begins to turn or cook; then stop pouring in water, but 
continue to stir the paste until cooked, Paste cooked too much will 
not hang, hence the pouring in of water must be stopped at the turn- 
ing point, which happens when it begins to lose its whiteness. Level 
off the paste, pour cold water over the top and let it stand over night, 
when in the morning it may be cut into hunks that can be wrapped 
in strong brown paper and carried in the grip. On reaching destina- 
tion, you can borrow a pail, thin the paste with water and it is ready 
for use. 

Thick paste like this, before it is thinned, will not mold or sour 
for months, except in very hot weather. 

In making this paste, as well as the ordinary ready paste, care must 
be taken to have it free from lumps. 

— 308 — 

Cause of Paint Cracking and Peeling on the Sheltered Portions of 

Dwellings. 

A house built in 1890 was painted with yellow ocher and allowed to 
remain for two months, then painted white with two coats of strictly 
pure white lead and. linseed oil. In 1899 it was again painted white 
with ready mixed paint, which was found by analysis to contain 75 
per cent, zinc oxide in the pigment, and mixed with strictly pure lin- 



122 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

seed oil. In 1901 the paint started to crack and peel off, especially 
where it was protected from the sun under the porches, etc. 

During the past ten years or so, many experienced and 
observing painters have pointed out the effects of priming with yellow 
ocher alone, and have recommended that when ocher is to be used 
for priming it should be mixed with from 50 to 70 per cent, of pure 
white lead and thinned with pure raw linseed oil only, or at most with 
the minimum quantity of drier. Ocher, consisting for the most part 
of silica or sand, is at best a brittle pigment and cannot hold its own 
with white lead as a priming. When covered with an elastic white 
lead paint, it will remain fixed longer than when a more brittle paint 
is used over it, but sooner or later it will "split," throwing off the top 
coats of paint. If this has happened in your case, you can determine 
by examining the back of the peeled off strips of paint, as well as the 
bared wood, both of which would show a yellow color. We believe that 
the lead paint had perished to such an extent that the lead and zinc 
paint obtained a direct hold on the ocher priming, which had also lost 
its adhesion to the lumber, and there not being oil enough for all caused 
the cracking and subsequent peeling or scaling. The only other cause 
that the trouble could be attributed to would be a damp surface on 
painting. 

— 309 — 

Repainting Golf Balls. 

We haven't much experience in that line, but would say 
that the balls must first be cleansed, which is best accomplished by 
soaking them in strong solution of sal soda until the old paint has 
fairly well disappeared, or at least softened, so that it may be removed 
with a scrub brush. Rinse in clear water, wipe with a dry cloth and 
allow to dry so that the rubber composition becomes hard again. To 
repaint balls white, mix equal parts of lead and zinc in oil, thin to stout 
consistency with a good elastic coach varnish, adding a little ultra- 
marine blue to take off the yellow cast given to the white by the var- 
nish. For the red, thin dark orange chrome or vermilion, or a mix- 
ture of these in a like manner. If you want to have the paint elastic 
enough to stand the wear, you must not use drier in the paint, but give 
it plenty of time to dry. To keep it from remaining tacky, however, 
you may find it necessary to employ driers, and in that case we would 
suggest to use a good paste drier. A little experimenting on these 
lines will tell you more than volumes of suggestions. 

— 310 — 

How to Produce Ivory White. 

Tint any clear white lead or zinc with a trifle of raw 
sienna uptil you have the desired effect. Or if you wish to have a very 
clean effect, use a trifle of yellow lake in place of the sienna. 

— 311 — 

How to Prepare and Apply Blackboard Slating. 

To make a good blackboard, the surface must be prepared 
in the proper way. On a plastered wall give a coat of glue size 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 123 

first, rub this down lightly with fine sandpaper, then moisten lamp- 
black with alcohol, making a paste and stir enough of this into shellac 
varnish to give body. Apply this over the glue size evenly, and when 
hard rub it with pumice and water. On wood, omit the glue size, but 
give two coats of the shellac and lampblack mixture, and sandpaper 
lightly or moss down with pumice and water. Then give two coats 
of the following: Dissolve i pound brown shellac in 2 quarts alcohol, 
add ij ounces of dry lampblack, i^ ounces ultramarine blue, 4 ounces 
flour of emery and 6 ounces flour of pumice. If too stout to work freely, 
thin with alcohol. Such a blackboard may be written on with soap- 
stone pencils as well as chalk. Remember that the preparation must 
be applied rapidly to prevent laps. 

— 312 — 

Formula for Carriage Top Dressing. 

What eflfect will oxalic acid, used in bleaching a piece of wood, have 
on the varnish used in refinishing it? 

If you desire a quick drying, lustrous black enamel for 
carriage tops, prepare it as follows : Melt nine pounds of best asphal- 
tum with one-half pint of boiled oil, being careful not to let it boil over, 
take to a safe distance from the fire, and while stirring the mass add 
gradually one-half gallon spirits of turpentine. 

If you want something that will preserve leather regardless of high 
luster, melt one-quarter pound of beef suet with one quart of neatsfoot 
oil and add two tablespoonfuls of melted beeswax, mixing all care- 
fully and place in a well covered vessel until wanted. If wanted black 
for covering up worn places, add some finely powdered drop black, 
which is best done when the dressing has been warmed up. 

— 313 — 

Effect of Oxalic Acid on Varnish. 

If you wash the surface with strong vinegar after you have restored 
the natural color of the wood by an oxalic acid solution and give it 
time to dry out thoroughly, it will have no effect whatever on your 
varnish or its wearing qualities. 

— 314 — 
Cleaning Brass Before Buffing. 

This, when done on a large scale, is accomplished with 
revolving brushes, but to do it occasionally only and in a small way, 
we would recommend the use of a paste made from one-half ounce 
oxalic acid, powdered, three ounces of powdered rotten stone and one- 
quarter ounce pulverized gum arable, mixed with sweet oil. Apply and 
rub on the metal well with a stiff brush and wipe dry with woolen 
cloth. 

— 315 — 

Wax Finish for Various Kinds of Wood. 

The following method is for a first class finish, regardless of cost : 
For the very best class of wax finish, see that your wood 



124 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

is smooth finished and well dusted. Fill the open grained woods with 
paste hardwood filler in the usual way, and when dry sandpaper. Then 
gfive two coats, at least, of shellac varnish, rub down well with fine 
flint paper and apply two or three coats of best polishing varnish, rub 
the last coat when thoroughly dry with pumice and water. When this 
is well cleaned and dry, polish with wax. This is best prepared by 
melting pure beeswax and linseed oil together, thinning with spirits of 
turpentine. One pound yellow beeswax, one-half pint of raw linseed 
oil and one quart of turpentine will make a wax polish of the con- 
sistency of ointment that will not scratch the finish. Follow the same 
method for the close grained woods, but omit the filler, as the shellac 
will accomplish that purpose. The very cheapest method of obtaining 
a wax finish is to oil the wood, fill the close grained woods with cheap 
paste filler and apply the wax finish after sandpapering. 

For pine, however, we would suggest at least one coat of shellac 
varnish, even in cheap work, to keep in the sap. This coat should be 
applied after the oiling has become hard, and if the shellac is put on 
woods you have mentioned, oak and redwood are the only ones re- 
thin and uniform, sandpapering or rubbing is not required. Of the 
ijuiring paste filler. 

For maple floors it is best to apply two coats of white shellac varnish 
after cleaning up with turps, rubbing the last coat of shellac with pum- 
ice and water, and when dry the wax floor polish mentioned above is 
applied with a brush and polished with a horse brush or floor polish- 
ing brush. 

For a cheap finish, clean up the floor with turpentine, omit oil from 
the wax polish, melting the wax and thinning it with turpentine while 
hot, applying it directly to the wood in the same manner as noted 
above. 

— 316 — 

How to Prepare a Good Photographers' Paste. 

We have been informed by competent authority that the 
best photographer's paste is made from common wheat starch, and 
would, therefore, suggest that you try the same. This paste must not 
be cooked, but prepared in the following manner : Place a quantity of 
the starch into an earthen or porcelain dish, break up the lumps into a 
fine powder, and pour over it slowly boiling hot water, beating the 
starch with a wooden spoon or paddle into a soft batter, which, if there 
are any lumps, strain through cheesecloth or other coarse cloth. On 
cooling, the paste should have the appearance of lard; if too thick, 
thin with more boiling water. 

— 317 — 

Best Method of Painting or Enameling Zinc Bathtubs. 

In order to make your paint hold on the zinc, you need a 
wash which will produce a film to which oil paint will adhere. First, 
remove all grease, etc., from the zinc lining with a solution of soda or 
ammonia, and dry the surface thoroughly. Then apply with a wide, 
soft brush the following preparation, which any druggist will make for 
you : One part by weight of chloride of copper, one part by weight of 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 125 

nitrate of copper, one part by weight of sal ammoniac, dissolved in 
sixty-four parts by weight of water. When dissolved, add one part 
muriatic acid. This solution must be kept in glass or earthenware, as 
it will not keep in tin. This solution will dry in about twelve hours, 
producing a grayish-black film, on which any kind of paint will hold- 
However, because of the hot water and soap used in bathtubs, an all- 
oil paint will not answer well, and only the first coat should contain 
sufficient oil for binding, while for the finishing coat, especially, a gloss 
pdint, made with good hard varnish, will serve best. 

— 3x8 — 
Re-Japanning an Old Japanned Tin Box. 

To make a good job of such work will put you to more 
trouble and expense than the box is worth, as you will see by the fol- 
lowing: First, you will have to remove all of the old japanning, then 
make a japan flow as follows : One pound gum sandarac, two ounces 
each of balsam of fir, balsam of tolu and sugar of lead and one-half pint 
linseed oil are placed in a suitable kettle over a slow fire at first, which 
is then raised to a higher heat, until all are melted. Now the kettle is 
taken from fire and allowed to cool somewhat, when under continued 
straining two quarts turpentine are added, and the whole strained 
through fine cloth. This is transparent, and to make the black japan- 
ning, one pint of this japan flow is added to a mixture made as follows : 
Two ounces of asphaltum are melted and thinned with one-half pint 
of turpentine and one-half ounce of Prussian blue in japan added, all of 
which must be strained and applied with a soft flat brush. This being 
too long-winded a method for renewing one single article, we would 
suggest that you sandpaper down the surface and apply baking enamel 
black, placing the box in an oven with a heat of about 212 deg. F. for 
three or four hours. 

— 319 — 

Preventing Ingrain Paper from Drying Out Spotted. 

An inquirer desired to know how to prevent ingrain paper from dry- 
ing out spotted ? Nearly all shades go the same way, although .plain 
flour paste, without alum, was used, and the walls were in good con- 
dition. 

Not having seen the paper, we cannot say whether it is 
faulty or not, and while you say that the walls were in good condition, 
you do not mention having used paperhangers' size. Before hanging 
ingrain paper, the walls must be prepared, whether they be new, old 
papered, kalsomined or whitewashed. If the walls are new, they must 
be sandpapered to remove all specks, to keep them from showing 
through when the work is finished, and a coat of thin glue size applied 
as hot as posible to prevent uneven suction or absorption of the paste. 

All old papered, kalsomined or whitewashed walls must be thor- 
oughly cleaned and washed, all cracks stopped and projections scraped* 
down level, then a coat of glue size given, as in the case of new walls. 

If there are any ceilings to be papered, prepare them same as the 
walls and hang them first, because you will in this way prevent the 
walls from b^ng soiled. 



126 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

The paste to be used should be good wheat flour paste, with or with- 
out alum, such as is made for ordinary paper, but thinned down much 
more, almost like water, so that when the pieces are separated for 
hanging they barely show the presence of paste. Shade the different 
rolls before cutting up your stock, and should any of the paper look 
darker or lighter, be sure that the change from one roll of paper to the 
other comes in the corner, where it will not show. We believe, how- 
ever, that your trouble of the paper showing spots is due to uneven 
suction in the walls. 

— 320 — 

How to Hang Burlap on Board Walls. 

While it is a difficult problem to hang burlap on a board 
wall or ceiling when the lumber is not well seasoned, we do not see 
why the burlap should bulge out at the points if you follow the rules 
for hanging it on such surfaces, unless the lumber should warp and 
crack in places. In such cases there is no other preventative except 
to let the lumber become thoroughly dry first, then plane off all pro- 
jections and fill in the cracks and joints. The part of wall that has 
been painted must be glue sized, as well as the new part, and it is well 
to add some washing soda to the glue size that goes on the paint, in 
order to cut it somewhat. The burlap should be trimmed in such 
widths that the joints (of the burlap) always come in the center of a 
board. Paste the wall, one width at a time, with a good, strong paste 
that is free from lumps and put the burlap on dry and use a roller. 
Run the burlap the same way as the boards, and roll the edges down 
well after each width is put up, and sponge the surplus paste off imme- 
diately with warm water. Make your paste by dissolving one pound 
of glue in two gallons of water, and put in enough paste powder to 
make a stiff paste, then add to the warm paste two tablespoonfuls of 
Venice turpentine and stir well. 

Should any place in the joint open up after the paste has dried, use 
filling in made by mixing plaster of paris with white shellac varnish. 
We do not think that the pasting of heavy clapboard paper would assist 
you to any extent. 

— 321 — 

Removing Whitewash from Ceiling Before Kalsomining. 

Soften the whitewash by wetting it liberally and repeatedly with a 
solution of two pounds potash in five gallons of water, and when soft- 
ened, remove with a scraper. 

— 322 — 

How to Finish the Bar of a Saloon. 

If we had been given particulars or details as to what kind 
of wood the bar is made of, especially the front and top, also whether 
there is a handrail around it and whether there is any carved work, etc., 
we could have answered this question much more intelligently. How- 
ever, we will do the best we can and assume that it is new work and 



7i9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 127 

that the wood is either oak, mahogany or walnut. You may leave it 
either natural finish or stain it to enhance its richness; in the latter 
case, stain your wood before filling it, but in any case use a good paste 
filler that is stained to match the wood or the stain used. The wood 
being filled, sandpaper lightly with the grain, then give at least one 
good coat of shellac all over, which, when hard, sandpaper again and 
give the front two good coats of best inside rubbing varnish, rubbing 
or mossing the last coat with pumice and water and finish with one 
coat of high-grade cabinet varnish, which, when dry, rub with flour of 
pumice and water lightly ; clean off thoroughly and polish with rotten 
stone and sweet oil. As for the top of bar and handrail, give at least 
two additional coats of best shellac varnish, rub with pumice and oil 
until you have obtained a perfectly level surface, and polish with rotten 
stone and sweet oil. 

Should the bar consist of close-grained wood, you can, of course, 
omit the filler, staining the wood first and applying the shellac varnish 
as soon as the stain has dried. 

— 323 — 

Lacquer for Brass and Its Mode of Application. 

The formulas for spirit varnishes referred to by you were 
not published as lacquers for brass, but for general ornamental work, 
the idea being more to show what is to bie expected of such varnishes, 
than to recommend them for practical work. In lacquering brass, the 
metal must be cleaned from all grease, etc., by the use of the follow- 
ing or a similar paste: One ounce oxalic acid, six ounces of rotten 
stone, one-half ounce of gum arabic or dextrine are made into fine 
powder and mixed to a paste with sweet oil. This is applied to the 
brass and rubbed dry with a flannel, then with another clean dry piece 
of flannel or woolen cloth the surface is polished. To make a good 
brass lacquer, mix one pound pale orange shellac, four ounces turmeric, 
one ounce annatto, one-half ounce saffron in one gallon 95 per cent, 
grain alcohol, let all digest, then filter through asbestos fiber to clear. 
Before using the lacquer on a large surface, try it on a small piece of 
brass, and if the finish appears cloudy the lacquer may require thin- 
ning, which can be done with more alcohol. Remember, the metal 
must not be too cold when lacquer is applied, and it may be practical 
to put it in a water bath during use. Lacquered brass should not be 
polished with the usual polishing mediums, as they will simply take 
off the lacquer sooner or later. Dusting off or wiping with a moist 
chamois leather is all that is required to keep it clean. 

— 324 — 

Difference Between Venice Turpentine and Crude Turpentine, 

Venice turpentine is a balsam, similar to balsam of fir or Canada 
balsam, and a thick liquid of syrup-like consistency, imported from 
France, while the crude turpentine is a thick, soft, white substance, 
known as ink turpentine, or gum thus, and is only worth one-tenth of 
the price of Venice turpentine. 



128 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

— 325 — 

Paint to Prevent Tin Cans Rusting in Water. 

It has long since been determined by scientific researches 
that linseed or any other oil is not impervious to water; on the con- 
trary, that they soak up water almost like a sponge, hence some other 
preparations are required to protect metal from rust in the presence 
of water. We should recommend that the cans be first thoroughly 
cleaned to remove all grease, etc., with soda water, then rinsed and 
thoroughly dried. Now a thin coat of equal parts white lead and zinc, 
thinned with turpentine and a little coach japan, to which good var- 
nish — say a tablespoonful to each half pint of paint — is added, should 
be given, and when this is dry a coat of enamel made from zinc in 
damar varnish, colored to suit fancy, thinned with a little turpentine 
and mixed with sufficient hard drying coach varnish to work freely, 
applied as a finish. If each coat could conveniently be baked from four 
to six hours at a temperature of about 150 deg. F., it would resist water 
far better than the air-dried paint. We should point to our advertis- 
ing columns, where the firms manufacturing such preparations an- 
nounce their goods, and it may be much more convenient to consult 
them than to experiment along these lines. 

■ 

— 326 — 

The Best Paint for Metal Roofs. 

We do not recommend any particular brand of paint for 
this purpose, but would say that a great deal depends upon the condi- 
tion of the metal, upon local conditions and upon the quality of the 
paint. Graphite, mineral brown, red oxide, Venetian red and 
even coal tar have given more or less satisfaction, and we 
believe that if graphite, metallic paint or Venetian red are 
well prepared and mixed with a first-class oil and not over- 
dosed with driers any one of these will stand well on a tm roof and 
protect the same from rust, always provided that the tin has not al- 
ready rusted, that it is well cleaned from rosin, dust and grease, and 
that local conditions — such as the precipitation from neighboring fac- 
tory chimneys, cinders, passing locomotives, etc. — do not assist in the 
early perishing of the paint. A painter cannot well guarantee the 
durability of the paint on a roof that has been painted before when he 
considers what trash is often applied to new roofs, the cheapest kind of 
mineral mixed from the dry with rosin or mineral oil, often thinned 
with kerosene oil to make it spread. 

— 327 — 

The Settling of White Lead in Oil in Packages. 

This will happen, to the purest and best white lead in oil 
on long standing, and is due in such cases to the high specific gravity 
of white lead, the oil not being of sufficient body to hold all of the lead 
in suspension. In rare cases this may be aggravated by the coarse- 
ness of the lead. However, we think that you refer principally to the 
so-called graded leads or mixed white paints that are sold under th^ 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 129 

name of pure white lead, and in which this article is conspicuous \>y 
its absence. 

These generally consist of zinc white and heavy spar or barytes or 
of sulphate of lead, zinc and -barytes, and they invariably become dry 
and hard in the bottom of tins, the oil having no affinity for the heavy 
spar, whose specific gravity is greater than that of either zinc or lead 
sulphate. 

— 328 — 

White Fireproof Paint for Entrance to Coal Mine. 

The entrance to a coal mine, 562 feet deep, was to be painted. The 
place was cool and damp, and there were frequent explosions from gas 
and coal dust. The management desired a white fireproof paint. 

It would be unwise to use an oil paint or other costly 
preparation on a job of this sort, and we can suggest something very 
sSmpIe which we are told of by a painter who has used it for over 
thirty-five years in damp cellars and other moist places with very sat- 
isfactory results. 

Three pounds of wheat flour, seconds, are mixed with cold water 
to the consistency of syrup and then poured slowly into five gallons 
boiling water, to which is then added one pound of crystallized vitriol 
of zinc (zinc sulphate) and when this is fully dissolved stir in, for 
white, twenty pounds — more or less, as needed — of zinc oxide (zinc 
white). If a buff color is wanted, use yellow ocher in place of zinc 
white; for red, use Venetian red. 

— 329 — 

Dyeing Car Seats Without Removing Plush. 

We have received a communication from a brother craftsman* 
ill Canada, who says that he has had experience in that line and found 
the following plan to work out satisfactorily: When the plush was 
not too much blackened and the nap or pile not too much worn, the 
seats were made as bright and clean as new. First, a thorough scour- 
ing with a good stiff brush dipped into a solution of one ounce con- 
centrated lye to a pailful of warm water was given to remove alF 
grease. Then a second scouring with vinegar to counteract the alka- 
line properties of the lye was given, which also acts as a mordaunt for 
the dye, as our grandmothers used to do in their days when dyeing 
cloth, namely, add a few drops of vinegar to set the dye. This is done 
on one day and next morning the same brush is used for applying 
the dye, which is placed in a shallow dish, the brush dipped into it and 
the plush, as it were, scoured with the dye. Our informant, who, for 
obvious reasons, does not wish to hav^ his name appear in print, fur- 
ther says that he has spoken to the manager of a dye works, who in- 
formed him that the method would be followed if he had similar work 
on hand, and that any good red dye of the proper hue would do the 
work. 



130 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

— 330 — 
Cleaning Cars for Revamishing. 

An opinion was asked as to the merits of a weak solution of sal soda 
in water for cleaning the varnished parts of cars, etc., that are to be 
revarnished. The solution had been used with powdered pumice for 
rubbing and cleaning the surface, which is painted light buff and gold- 
en ocher, and this was followed up by a thorough washing with hose, 
water and brush. 

You fail to state what experience you have had with your 
method of cleaning the cars with your soda solution and pumice stone, 
but as you simply ask our opinion on the use of soda, we will say that 
we prefer the use of good soap in place of the soda solution. We con- 
sider the following method the quickest and safest for preparing a car 
for revarnishing. Good soft soap, water, pumice stone No. 2, a good 
stiff scrubbing brush of Palmetto fiber, if possible, a bunch of curled 
hair, a piece of soft wood to clean out corners, chamois skin and plenty 
of never-tiring elbow grease are the necessary materials and tools 
for good and quick work. When the surface has been carefully cleaned 
the hose may be used, but the surface should be wiped with the cham- 
ois skin and. no water allowed to remain anywhere. Before revamish- 
ing all loose paint should be removed from battens, corners, 
moldings, etc., and the whole surface lightly sandpapered. After 
dusting, a coat of hard body varnish, reduced with about one-fourth its 
quantity of turpentine, should be applied, and when this has dried all 
bare spots should be touched up with quick drying color to match and 
then puttied. When putty is dry, cut down with lump pumice, and fol- 
low by rubbing the puttied spots with powdered pumice, felt and 
water. Now the car is ready for touching up with color where needed, 
but it is often better to repaint the whole car before revarnishing, at 
least to give it a coat of color and varnish. 

— 331 — 

Apparent Causes for Non-Drying of Paint on Interior Work. 

The woodwork of the kitchen of a house from which the tenants had 
removed four or five days previously, was painted with white lead in 
oil, tinted with burnt sienna and burnt umber, thinned with boiled oil, 
turps and a small portion of liquid drier. There were no indications 
of grease on the woodwork. On the base of window sills and the 
woodwork round the sink and water pipes that run along the ceiling, 
the paint dried hard, while four days after painting the balance the 
paint was as wet to the touch as when first applied. On close inspec- 
tion the color appeared to have separated from the oil and collected in 
clots, underneath. The paint could be wiped off with a cloth, leaving 
spots of color that appeared quite hard. 

Despite your belief that there was no grease on the wood- 
work in that kitchen, our experience tells us that your trouble was 
due to one of the following conditions: The surface may have been 
greasy without your taking notice of the same, or if not it may have 
been improperly cleaned by the former tenants — that is, soap may have 
been used in scouring and the soap not properly rinsed off; or your 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 131 

paint may have been fatty and applied too stout. However, if the fault 
was due to the paint, it would not have dried hard without separation 
in the places mentioned, and therefore it points to a greasy surface or 
a surface impregnated with material of caustic properties, both of 
which will retard the drying of paint. In either case the paint will 
be apt to run, unless a large percentage of driers is employed ; but in 
the presence of alkali or caustics the paint will separate in the way 
you describe it. 

The painted work of a kitchen, no matter how short a time the 
room has been used for the purpose, should be thoroughly scrubbed 
with soap suds or water to which a little ammonia has been added, and 
then rinsed with clear water very carefully, because the condensation 
of the steam arising from cooking carries more or less grease with it, 

— 332 — 

Method of Obtaining a Stain for .Mahogany to Imitate Old Mahogany* 

If yon want good, durable work, make your stain by using good 
burnt sienna in oil, to which add a trifle of red lake to enrich it, or a 
little drop black to darken it, using turpentine for thinning and add 
japan or liquid drier to hasten its drying. Should you desire quicker 
drying, make red sanders stain, to which add enough asphaltum to 
obtain the required depth. To make the red sanders stain, buy a pound 
or so of red sanders from any wholesale druggist ; fill any size bottle 
about one-auarter full of red sanders and fill the bottle with alcohol. 
This will extract the color from the sanders, and when it appears 
strong enough strain the 'liquid and throw the grounds away. To 
mix the red stain with asphaltum varnish the latter must be thinned 
down with turps until it is of the same consistency of the stain, or they 
will not mix. Dragon's blood will also make a beautiful stain for ma- 
hogany, but it is too expensive. We cannot inform you as to the quan- 
tities required to obtain the proper depth to match any given sample, 
but think that you can work this out on the lines given. 

— 333 — 
Repainting Window Shades of Cloth. 

There is only one material that will serve well for re- 
painting window shades, and that is pure white lead where tints come 
into question. Zinc white is too brittle, and is very apt to crack at 
short notice in the rolling up. Put your curtains or shades, after they 
are removed from the roller and after fringes, etc., have also been re- 
moved, on a table or a couple of boards laid on trestles, and give them 
a thorough scouring with soft soap and water and when clean a sec- 
ond scouring with clear water, and while still wet fasten them to a 
convenient frame with tacks, so that both sides can be painted without 
waiting for cither to dry. When the water has dried apply your paint 
with a wall brush as wide as you can find quickly and deftly. Do not 
go over it more than once or you will have "shiners" and window 
shades should be dead flat. Mix your tints from white lead in oil and 
the required colors in oil, thinning with benzine only, adding a trifle 
of drying japan only, and have the paint almost as thin as water. In 



132 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

tinting avoid ocher as much as possible, unless very little only is re- 
quired. It will scarcely pay to repaint any but the better grade of 
hand-made opaque shades; the others will not stand it. 

— 334 — 

How to Silver a Mirror with Quicksilver. 

First, have your glass plate or mirror perfectly clean; use 
tissue paper for the final cleaning. Then lay a piece of tin foil (not 
lead foil) somewhat larger than your mirror on a smooth, flat surface 
and pour mercury to the depth of one-eighth of an inch over the tin 
foil. Slide the clean glass plate over the foil with the advancing edge 
just under the surface of the mercury, so as to bring a new surface 
of amalgum against the glass. Then leave the glass for about fifteen 
minute3 under pressure, and stand it on edge to drain. Collect the 
surplus mercury into a bottle for future use, and when the quicksilver 
on the glass has hardened it can be backed up with flat black, which 
will make it more durable. 

— 335 — 

Removing Paint from Highly Polished Tanned Leather. 

We are sorry to say that we have no experience in that 
line, but can readily understand that turpentine and coal oil are not 
powerful enough to do the work. He should have used chloroform 
and a stiff brush, similar to a large tooth brush, or alcohol. A mixture 
of absolute alcohol and sulphuric ether (equal parts) will remove any 
kind of paint or varnish from leather, the varnish usually employed 
for such work being shellac, which is soluble in alcohol, and chloro- 
form or sulphuric ether will dissolve the hardest paint when given 
plenty of time. In relettering such work, quick drying flat colors must 
be used and the whole freshened up with shellac varnish. 

— 336 — 

Mixing Certain Colors, Tints and Hues. 

Owing to the varying strength of the different brands in commerce, 
we shall refrain from giving proportions, placing the name of the color 
of which the largest quantity is required first, and that of which the 
least is required last. The colors we select for the combinations are 
such as would be used by artists and decorators, but not for the or- 
dinary purposes of the house painter. 

AMBER. — ^Yellow lake with a little white or red lake and chrome 
yellow. 

ASHES OF ROSES. — White, carmine or red lake tinged with ivory 
black. 

BISMARCK BROWN.— Burnt umber, Dutch pink and red lake. 

BURGUNDY.— Asphaltum with good red lake. 

CLARET. — ^Any good purple lake or carmine and a trifle of ultra- 
marine blue. 
DUCKS' EGG. — White, ultramarine blue, chrome yellow. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 133 

INVISIBLE GREEN. — Lamp or drop black and very little medium 
chrome yellow. 

TEA GREEN. — Raw umber, chrome green and ocher. 

WILLOW GREEN.— Verdigris and white. 

LEATHER COLOR. — Burnt sienna, burnt umber, subdued with 
enough white to produce effect. 

LIME STONE. — White, yellow ocher and a little black and red 
•each. 

PEACH BLOSSOM.— White and king's yellow (orpiment). 

PLUM. — White, ultramarine blue, red lake or carmine and a little 
-drop black. 

PORTLAND STONE.— Raw umber, yellow ocher and white 
enough to produce effect. 

SAND STONE. — White, yellow ocher with very little black and red. 

SLATE. — Lampblack, white, blue and a trifle red. 

STONE COLOR.— White, yellow ocher, burnt umber. 

VIOLET. — Carmine, ultramarine blue and a trifle black. 

— 337 — 

Shellac Varnish that Has Separated on Long Standing. 

A five-gallon bucket of orange shellac varnish, warranted pure gum, 
and found to be of good quality when bought, in the fall, was allowed 
to stand all winter in a place without heat. On opening the package 
in the spring it was found that the gum had separated and was in the 
form of liver. Removing the bucket to a warm room, and frequently 
shaking it failed to make the material come together. On heating a 
portion, it apparently dissolved, but separated on cooling. 

We believe that the trouble is due to a loss of strength in 
the solvent, caused by evaporation, and it is also possible that mois- 
ture has been absorbed in some way. The material should be placed 
in a kettle that is set in a water bath, similar to that used for melting 
glue, and while thus being heated it must be well stirred ; then more 
spirit should be added to make up for what has been lost during the 
heating. 

— 338 — 

Best Size for Gilding on Glass. 

The best size for gilding on glass is, without exception, 
fish glue dissolved in rain water. To find out whether it will be just 
right for burnishing the leaf is to try the size on the hand and have 
it so thin that it has only slight adhesive power, because if too much 
isinglass is used the leaf does not burnish well. A prominent sign 
writer uses a size made by dissolving isinglass in white wine vinegar, 
filtering the size before using. Some decorators in Europe prepare a 
size by macerating the seeds of quince in white whisky or brandy until 
the resulting liquid attains proper cohesion, then filter it. This is said 
to be the best size for gloss gilding on glass, but, of course, the most 
<?xpensive one also. 



134 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 339 — 

Methods Employed in Waxing Floors. 

It is not necessary to apply floor wax hot, though this is 
done on parquet floors. Melted wax that has become thick on standing 
can be thinned with turpentine while cold, but it is best to use a water 
bath, same as for melting glue. Do not use an open fire, as it is dan- 
gerous on account of the fumes. 

Work of polishing can be commenced as soon as the wax has set 
after application. Wax that is left over can be put away for the next 
job, but should be placed in a well closed package. The wax should 
have become hard enough so that it will not roll or rub up under the 
weighted brush. The proper way to proceed in waxing floors is to- 
prepare the wax polish by cutting up beeswax into small pieces and 
melt it in a water bath, adding sufficient turpentine to make it liquid. 
To make it of the proper hardness use equal parts of yellow beeswax 
and Carnauba wax, and thin with turpentine to the consistency of 
thick cream. Apply to the floor with a varnish brush, and as soon 
as the mass has set fairly hard to the touch, begin polshing with the 
weighted brush, and if polish is unsatisfactory give a second coat and 
polish again. 

— 340 — 

Paint to Resist the Fumes of Acid from Chambers at Fertilizer Works. 

What material is best to use in making paint for the above purpose 
depends upon the color desired. Carbonate of lead and carbonate of 
lime must be avoided in its composition. For tints, oxide of zinc or 
lithopone (sulphide of zinc compound) should form the base, while 
the coloring matter should be mineral or earth paints or lampblack, 
as necessity may dictate. The vehicle should be heavy bodied linseed 
oil and manganese drier. 

For solid colors, such as red or brown, any good Venetian or Indian 
red and mineral brown, containing not over 5 per cent, of carbonate 
of lime, ground in and thinned with pure raw linseed oil and oil drier, 
free from lead base, will serve the purpose well. 

Where not exposed directly to the weather, as Well as to the atmos- 
phere, a true asphaltum varnish free from rosin will serve very well,, 
especially for the protection of metal surfaces. 

— 341 — 
Renovating a Painted Brick Front. 

The method usually pursued in repainting brick fronts is 
to use bent steel scrapers where the paint is soft and scaly, following 
with stiff brooms or brushes, removing all the loose paint and allowing 
the balance to remain, as it will not show when the front is painted in 
flat color. Burning off with the torch would be the quickest and surest 
method in your case, but you would have to be careful to keep the 
flame away from the marble sills and trimmings to prevent their bemg 
scorched. There are many ways to remove paint without burning, but 
these preparations make such a miess on a brick front that the dry wa)"" 
of scraping and brooming is the best. You are the best judge as to 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 135 

the proper method to pursue in this case, as you are on the g^round and 
it will be a matter of an hour's time for you to ascertain whether 
you can get the harder portion of the paint removed by scraping or 
whether it is best to resort to burning. In using either method you will 
save yourself the trouble of washing down the front, which you would 
be compelled to do to save your new paint from being attacked if you 
used an alkaline paint remover. 

— 34a — 

Coating a Water Tower of Steel with Asphaltum Paint or Varnish. 

An appropriate estimate was wanted for painting a steel water 
tower, 40 feet in diameter and 40 feet in height, under the following 
specifications: "After inspection, which will be at shop, each sheet 
must be cleaned and dipped into a bath of hot asphaltum, or painted 
in the best possible manner with mineral paint of approved quality. ^ 
When the complete tank has been tested and made perfectly tight, the 
whole shall be painted inside and outside two coats of asphalt paint, 
the last color to be selected by the engineer." 

We cannot give you the figures desired, because we do 
not know at what price you will buy your material. Asphaltum paint 
is a rather vague term, and such a paint may be bought as low as 
thirty-five cents or as high as two dollars per gallon. The specifica- 
tions are not clear enough on that point. We should think, however, 
that a high grade of paint is required for a tank of that description. 

You can calculate the cost of each coat of paint by dividing the num- 
ber of square feet of surface to be coated by 400, which is about the 
number of square feet that can be covered by a gallon of paint. For 
instance, the tank being 40 feet in diameter, the circumference is 125 2-3 
feet, and this multiplied by 40 feet (of height) gives 5,026^ square feet 
as the surface to be coated on one side, or 10,053 ^^^^ ^^ ^^^^ sides. 
Therefore, 25 gallons would be required for each coat. The bottom 
and roof of tank (if there is a roof) would contain 1,2562-3 square feet 
each, and this doubled would give 2,513 1-3 feet for each bottom and 
roof, or 5,026 2-3 feet for both, requiring 12J gallons more for each coat. 
To do the work well, would require the labor of one man for too hours 
to apply one coat, both inside and outside, and 50 hours more to paint 
bottom and roof on both sides one coat. As you are tied down bv spec- 
ifications, it would be futile for us to speak of the merits of asphaltum 
paint. 

— 343 — 

The Drying Out of Tinted Cold Water Paint. 

A certain brand of cold water paint was used for exterior work ac- 
cording to directions on the package. After beating it to a soft bat- 
ter, the painter added some medium chrome yellow to obtain the de- 
sired tint, and then thinned it with cold water to the consistencv of 
oil paint. It worked very well that day, but next morning it had 
turned lighter, when he added more yellow, but before he got through 
with the job it had turned about two shades lighter and worked like 
soap and water. He mixed enough at once to do the entire job and 
kept it well stirred. 



^3^ 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

We are not familiar with the composition of the brand of 
cold water paint you mention, but would call your attention to the fact 
that water paints dry out a great deal lighter in shade than they ap- 
pear in the wet state, and that it is necessary to test the shade by allow- 
ing it to dry, in a small way, before beginning to use it on a job. If 
you have taken this precaution, and it has dried out lighter in spite of 
that, then there is something in that paint which affects the chrome 
ycHow. For example, lemon or medium chrome yellow should not be 
used with any pigment of alkaline nature nor with silicate of soda, be- 
rfluse its tone is partly destroyed when these are present to any extent. 

— 344— . 
Formula for Making Oil Wood Stains. 

The following formulas are approximate, and judgment must be 
used, increasing or decreasing the quantity of oil color to obtain the de- 
sired result. The beauty of the stain depends on the richness of tone 
and the fineness of grinding of the oil colors employed. 

Cherry Stain. — To two pounds burnt sienna and one pound raw 
sienna, add one-half gallon boiled linseed oil, one quart best brown 
japan and one-half gallon spirits of turpentine. If the burnt sienna 
is more of a brown than of the fiery red tone, then omit the raw 
sienna, but use three pounds burnt sienna in place of two. 

Mahogany Stain. — To two pounds burnt sienna, one pound of rose 
pink and one-quarter pound of drop black, add one-half gallon boiled 
oil, one quart best brown japan and one-half gallon of turpentine. 
Vary the proportion of drop black according to the depth desired for 
this stain. 

Light Oak Stain. — To two pounds of raw sienna and one-half pound 
of raw umber, add one-half gallon of boiled oil, one quart of best brown 
japan and one-half gallon turpentine. If the raw sienna is inferior in 
staining power, omit the raw umber and use three pounds of raw 
sienna. 

Dark Oak Stain. — One pound raw sienna and one and one-half 
pounds raw umber, with thinners as for light oak stain. If too <lark, 
increase quantity of raw sienna ; if too light, add an ounce or two of 
burnt umber. 

Rosewood Stain. — To one pound rose pink add one pint good as- 
phaltum varnish, one pint best brown japan, one pint boiled oil, and 
one quart turpentine. If too dark, add more rose pink ; if too light, 
use more asphaltum varnish and more turpentine. 

Walnut Stain. — ^To two pounds of burnt umber add one-half gal- 
lon boiled oil, one quart of best brown japan and one-half gallon tur- 
pentine. Should the umber be very dark, add one-half pound of burnt 
sienna, but if black walnut stain is desired, add Vandyke brown in 
same proportion. 

In preparing stains, break up the oil color first with the japan, add- 
ing little by little, then add the oil and finally the turpentine and strain. 
Test on new wood, and if too strong, add more thinners, using the pro- 
portions given in each case. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 137 

— 345 — 
Paste Wood Fillers. 

Paste fillers for hard woods are made from any of the 
following materials, or a combination of these: Silex or silica, terra 
alba, whiting, china clay, starch, rye flour and sometimes barytes. 
Silex or terra alba will, on drying, give the least discoloration to the 
wood. The pigment should be of impalpable fineness and intimately 
mixed to a stiflF paste with one-third each of pale linseed oil, pale gold 
size japan and turpentine. This paste may be either run through a 
mill or be given a very thorough mixing, and to test it for quality it 
should be thinned with turpentine to the consistency of a varnish, ap- 
plied with a varnish brush to open grained wood, preferably oak, al- 
lowed to set for about 20 to 30 minutes, and the surplus filler removed 
by wiping across the grain in the usual manner. After 24 to 36 hours, 
the surface should be lightly sandpapered and a good, flowing coat 
of rubbing varnish applied, which, .when fairly well set, should not 
show any pitting or pinholes. Should it pit, however, or show pin- 
holes or needlepoints, the filler is defective in binding properties and 
the portion of japan should be increased with a corresponding decrease 
in the proportion of turpentine. The linseed oil and the gold size 
japan must be of good body, and if cornstarch or rye flour is used in 
connection with silex or silica, the proportions should be about one of 
the former to five of the latter by weight. 

— 346 — 

Glazing Putty or Knifing-in Lead for Car and Carriage Work. 

To prepare this properly, you must be sure to use keg 
lead, that is, pure white lead in oil, and none of the so-called white 
leads. A corroder's brand on the head of the package will give you 
the assurance of purity. To prepare 100 pounds of the material, 
mix in a suitable tub with a stout paddle (unless you have a powder 
mixer) 65 pounds keg lead, 25 pounds dry white lead, one-half gallon 
pale coach japan, one-half gallon pale rubbing varnish and one quart 
spirits of turpentine, and run through a paint mill until fine. This will 
be of the consistency of soft putty and should be applied with a stiff 
brush to the parts of the car or carriage, and when it has deadened or 
flattened, is to be gone over with the putty knife, with which it is 
pressed into the pores of the wood, and the surplus removed. In 
other words, it is used as a putty to fill up, and care should be taken 
not to have any ridges of surplus glazing putty anywhere on the 
work, being especially careful of the moldings around panels or where 
irons and wood are joined, because the jar of the vehicle, when in ser- 
vice, is liable to shake the putty loose. For cheaper grade of work, 
finely bolted whiting may be employed to replace the dry white lead, 
but the amount of japan rubbing varnish and turps will have to be 
doubled. 



138 7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 347 — 

Dustless Floor Polish or Floor Oil. 

We do not think that these dustless floor oils are used as 
much now as they were several years ago, because of the ruin wrought 
on ladies' dresses in stores and public places, where the material was 
used on floors. We understand that it is a good dust layer in store- 
rooms, warehouses, etc., but that it collects dirt so much that it finally 
leaves a- bad crust on floors. The following is considered a good 
formula: Equal parts, by measure, of neatsfoot oil, cottonseed oil 
and petroleum oil. For the latter, golden machine oil is generally 
used, and part of the cottonseed oil may be displaced by lard oil. A 
coat of the mixture is applied to the floor with a mop, and will last 
from four to five months. 

— 348 — 
Japanning Tin or Iron. 

While we believe that it would be more economical for 
you to buy your japanned tin ready prepared from some reliable firm 
of japanners, whose name or place of business you may ascertain by 
consulting the business directory of any large city, we shall give you 
a formula for making japan flow, so-called, with directions how to pro- 
duce the various colors. 

The transparent flow or liquid is prepared as follows: Put into a 
suitable kettle one- pound of gum sandrac, two ounces each balsam 
of fir, balsam of tolu and powdered sugar of lead and one pint of well 
settled raw linseed oil. Set the kettle over a slow fire, which is gradu- 
ally raised until all are melted, stirring in the meanwhile to keep the 
material from; becoming burned in bottom of kettle, then take to a safe 
distance from fire and allow to cool down somewhat, stir in gradually 
one-half gallon spirits of turpentine and strain through fine cloth. For 
black, melt good asphaltum, say four ounces and thin with one pint of 
turpentine and rub down fine in part of this one ounce of Prussian or 
Chinese blue. Mix all and strain, then add to it one quart of the flow. 

For blue grind one ounce each of Prussian blue and indigo in tur- 
pentine, add enough of the latter until you have used one quart. 
Strain well and add enough of this to one quart of the flow until the 
color suits your idea. 

For red steep one ounce of cochineal in a quart of turpentine, let 
stand twenty-four hours, stir and strain. Add enough of this to the 
flow until you have the color desired. 

For yellow take two ounces of finely pulverized curcuma root and 
stir it into a quart of the flow. If color is not strong enough, use 
more of the curcuma, let it stand several hours, then strain. 

For green mix equal parts of the blue and yellow, and with this 
enough of the flow to make color suit. 

For orange mix some of the red with the yellow until color is as de- 
sired, then add some of the flow as above. 

These colored japans are applied with wide, soft brush to tin and 
then the tin is baked in a suitable oven, but while the black can stand 
a high degree of heat, say 300 deg. F. or more, the other colors should 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 139 

not be subjected to more than 180 deg. F. The tin or iron, of course, 
must be clean, free from grease and rust or the japan flow will not 
take well. 

Japanning is an art in itself, and to do good ,work requires skill and 
experience, therefore we should advise you, unless you can afford to 
spend money and time on experiments, to procure your tin from 
japanners or have them to do the work for you. 

— 349 — 

Cleaning and Preservation of Oak Parquet Floors. 

The cleaning and keeping in condition of oak parquet floors in our 
dwellings is known to require much trouble and work. The purpose 
of the cleaning is to keep them as long as possible in that condition in 
which they were when new. This end is more or less completely at- 
tained by the various modes of cleaning. The process still almost uni- 
versally pursued is mechanical in its action, the cleaning being ac- 
complished by rubbing the dry floor with steel chips. Tnis method, 
says the "Centralblatt," is a laborious and slow one, hence it seems of 
advantage to make known more generally a hitherto little employed 
process, which has quickly crowded out the old method of cleaning 
wherever used. No dust is generated in this new process. It is 
founded on the remfoval of the dirt by oil of turpentine, and is per- 
formed as follows: Dip a perfectly dry wainscot brush in a vessel 
filled with oil of turpentine and brush a small surface, about half a 
square yard, of the floor diligently and repeatedly with it. This 
treatment is succeeded by an immediate washing off of that surface 
with hot water, whereupon the cleaned place is wiped off and rubbed 
dry with a dry rag or, better still, with oakum. When the floor treate^i 
in this manner is perfectly dry, after a few hours, it appears as though 
freshly rubbed down. Now wax, as usual, and brush until glossy. 
The solution of one part of white wax in two parts of oil of turpentine 
has been found excellent for this purpose. The parquet floors 
cleaned according to the above method keep like new for a long time, 
provided that for the frequent rubbing necessary only clean brushes 
and rags are employed. The cost of the oil of turpentine may seem 
high, but since' the new method requires much less time than the 
rubbing down with steel chips, the extra cost of the material will be 
offset by the saving in wages. 

— 350 — 

Finishing Floors with Wax That Have Been Partly Oiled. 

We should remove the floor oil from the floors with ben- 
zine, that is, if there is any on the surface ; and melt the paraffine wax 
in a water bath, thinning it with turpentine, apply to the floor and 
polish with a floor brush. You cannot separate mineral or other oils 
of that stamp from linseed oil, but foots in linseed oil can be removed 
by allowing the oil to settle for some time and decanting the clear 
article. 



140 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

— 351 — 

How to Remove Ink Stains from Light Tiling. 

The simplest way we know of is to dissolve oxalic acid 
in water and rub this solution over the stains by means of a piece of 
sponge fastened to the end of a stick, and as soon as the stains have 
disappeared, give the tiles copious washing with clear water. When 
the stains are not too old, citric acid dissolved in water, or chloride of 
lime mixed with water to a soft batter will answer the same pur- 
pose, but the tiles must be well washed or rinsed with clear water as 
soon as the stains have disappeared. 

— 352 — 

The Best Finish for a Hard Pine Counter Top. 

Liquid wood fillers are used on account of cheapness in place of shellac 
varnish for filling soft woods like white pine, etc., but will not produce 
good results on hard pine counter tops. Hard oil finish, well made of 
good material, is a very good varnish for hard pine on ceilings, wain- 
scoting, etc., but is not the best material for counter tops. If a first- 
class job is desired on hard pine, we would say that a coat of orange 
shellac should be applied next to the bare wood, to be followed by a 
first-class coach rubbing varnish and finished with either one coat of 
this or a good, elastic coach varnish which could be rubbed and pol- 
ished in the usual manner, if so desired, or rubbed down to eggshell 
gloss. 

— 353 — 

Coating Very Old, Hard, Smooth-Plastered Walls. 

To fill in cracks in old walls, cut out all the cracks V- 
shape, clean out the holes and bevel the edges same as the cracks. 
Make a filling of fine plaster of paris mixed with thin glue size, fill the 
•cracks carefully and when dry, sandpaper the filling smooth and level 
with the wall. Go over all of the wall with sandpaper and knock off 
any small lumps that may be there. Wherever you find any loose 
plaster, sandpaper down such patches a little below the level of the 
wall and brush oflF the loose plaster ; give a coat of glue size and trowel 
on a coat of plaster of paris, mixed with glue size, and when dry, sand- 
paper smooth and level. Wherever cracks or loose plaster patches 
have been filled in, there is usually more suction than there is in the 
unbroken portions of the wall ; therefore, in order to have no flat 
patches, when the painting is finished, it is necessary to stop such 
suction before the first coat is applied by going over such places with 
a coat of oil and drier, and when this is dry, with a coat of white lead, 
thinned with equal parts japan varnish and turpentine. This is rather 
troublesome, but it will pay in the end. To prime the wall, use white 
lead, say not over 8 pounds to one gallon raw linseed oil, and add one 
pint of turpentine to make it more penetrating, and if your work is to 
be hurried, a small portion of liquid drier. In order to make a good 
job of three coats of paint on a wall, where most of the surface will 
lose gloss on the first coat and where there is suction in spots on the 
third coat, you will have to apply a coat of glue size 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 141 

on top of the priming coat. You can make this size by 
melting white glue water, but in order to keep it from 
souring in hot weather, you should add on cooling, for every 
pound of glue used, two ounces of acetic acid, which you can buy of 
any druggist. The second coat of paint should be mixed, so as to dry 
with fair gloss, with three parts of oil to one part turpentine and drier. 
The last coat to be stippled should be mixed stout with equal part* 
oil and turpentine and some drier. To do the stippling properh', the 
stippler should immediately follow the painters, before the paint has 
any chance to s6t, and care must be taken to strike the paint evenly and 
steadily. As to the method of sizing plastered ceilings with liquid 
wood filler before kalsomining, we see no objection to it, as many 
use a so-called suction or ceiling varnish for the purpose, which are no 
better or perhaps not as good. Many painters, however, use a wall 
size made from white glue, alum and white soap. 

— 354 — 
The Apparent Perishing of Chinese and Prussian Blue in a White 

Lead and Zinc Paint. 

A light blue tint was mixed with lead, zinc and Chinese blue and 
placed in a tightly-corked bottle. Three lots were mixed, using the 
same quantity of blue, but varying proportions of lead and zinc. On 
opening the same, three years later, the color was a cream tint, varying 
in shade in each bottle. Each of these tints was painted on a strip of 
glass and exposed to the sun at noon. By the next morning the or- 
iginal color had come back. 

It cannot be said that in the case of your tints there was 
any alkaline reaction on the Chinese blue, so long as you used pure 
white lead and pure zinc, but you may have made use of a drier con- 
taining lime. Lime in any form, even whiting, has the effect stated on 
Chinese or Prussian blues, and we experienced similar difficulties with 
Chinese blue tints some years ago, but have not noticed any similar 
occurrence of late, and we attribute the trouble to the use of a drier 
containing lead and manganese salts, with lime as a hardener. Only 
recently has it dawned upon us that the use for several years of a 
strictly oil drier, free from lime, has remedied the defect. As in your 
case, Chinese blue tints on standing sealed up several months appeared 
on opening to be white, but on exposure to air assumed very nearly 
their original light blue color on top, while on being painted out the 
apparent white or light cream color soon turned blue. It is a noted 
fact that Chinese or Prussian blues cannot be employed safely with 
whiting in kalsomining on account of the decomposition brought 
about by no matter how small a portion of free lime there may be. 
Any alkali, such as soda, potash, ammonia or lime, will decompose it 
into a f errocyanide of the alkali and oxide of iron, and therefore these 
blues or any pigments containing the same cannot be used with 
alkaline bases or vehicles, such as lime, whiting or the silicates of soda 
and potash. In your case the Chinese blue was not decomposed, but it 
was temporarily obscured or hidden and brought to light again by the 
exposure to air and light. 



142 7^ PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 355 — 

Chalking of White Lead and Oil Paint in One Year. 

A house was painted with pure white lead and linseed oil, slightly 
tinted. Six years later it was repainted with two coats of a standard 
brand of white lead and a crusher's brand of raw oil, tinted green for 
the body and trimmed in plain white. The surface before repainting 
was apparently in good condition, but in less than a year the new paint 
had chalked badly, rubbing off the surface like so much flour. 

Did it occur to you before you started repainting last 
summer to examine the surface critically to see how much oil you 
should have in your first coat, because of the dried-out old paint that 
had stood so well for six years? Perhaps all the oil you gave in your 
first coat was required by the old paint and absorbed by that, and the 
first coat, being robbed of its oil, in turn absorbed some of the oil that 
was needed to give the finishing coat a good hold. You do not state 
the kind and proportion of japan or drier used along with the oil, and 
this is an important factor. Also last summer and fall was exceed- 
ingly dry and hot enough to burn up any paint that carried an excess 
of drier and an insufficient quantity of oil. Before you lay the blame 
on the lead or the oil, step around to the north side of the premises 
and investigate how the paint stood there. If it has not chalked 
on that side or on the shaded portions of the house, you can figure 
the cause of the perishing out on the above lines, otherwise the lead or 
the oil was not as it should have been. 

— 356 — 

A Good Size for Plastered Walls. 

Make two solutions, the first to consist of one and one- 
quarter pounds of glue, dissolved in four gallons oi water ; the second 
to consist of one ounce of borax, five ounces of washing soda and 
twenty ounces of powdered rosin added to five quarts of boiling water, 
and to be kept boiling and stirred until all is dissolved. To thirty 
parts by m«easure of the first solution add one part of the second and 
boil them together for about one-quarter of an hour; take from the 
fire and strain; when it is ready for use. You will find this size an 
excellent one for the purpose. 

— 357 — 

Wiped Verdigris Finish in Imitation of Patina. 

Use a ground made from about 25 pounds of pure white 
lead in oil, 3 pounds medium chrome yellow, 5 pounds Venetian red 
with enough burnt umber to make a color resembling dirty copper. 
Apply as many coats as are required to give a good surface, making 
the last coat so as to dry semi-flat. When dry and hard, apply copper 
bronze, dry or wet, as you choose, using a good outside varnish, 
thinned with turps, as a medium to hold it. If you do your bronzing 
dry, remove the excess of bronze with a wad of cotton ; if wet, you can 
go right over it on becoming hard with either of the following : Make 
a glaze fromi French distillled verdigris that has been ground fine in 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 143 

varnish and is thinned with turpentine, so as to produce an egg-shell 
gloss on drying, or make a stain from raw umber that has been 
ground in japan, thinning with equal parts of coach or outside var- 
nish and turpentine. Before the glaze or stain has an opportunity to 
set hard, take a cloth and wipe out the high lights, thus producing the 
effect of antique copper bronze. If there is sufficient ornamentation, 
the effect is a very pretty one, especially when verdigris is used. Many 
public building fronts are being done in this manner. 

— 358 — 

Linseed Oil for Outside Painting. 

Kettle-boiled linseed oil of good, heavy body will hold its 
gloss in paint very much longer than raw linseed oil, and well- 
settled raw linseed oil, that has become bodied by age, is better, by 
far, than green oil. The durability of linseed oil depends largely upon 
its being well settled by age, without being rancid. Our experience 
has been that well-settled raw linseed oil is better than boiled oil at 
any time, providing very little of a good oil drier only is added. 

— 359 — 

How to Fill and Finish Redwood. 

See that the surface is well planed and smoothly sand- 
papered ; add some burnt sienna to a good paste wood filler ; thin the 
same with turpentine to the consistency of varnish, and apply it in 
the usual mannner; wipe off the surface in from 15 to 20 minutes and 
let it stand at least 36 hours; then sandpaper lightly and dust off 
carefully. To do a first-class job two coats of good shellac varnish 
should be applied, sandpapering each coat with fine sandpaper. Now, 
it depends on the price paid for the work as to how many coats of 
rubbing varnish it should have. Less than two coats will not answer ; 
four coats will give a better surface for polishing. Let each coat be- 
come thoroughly hard before applying the next, and when you have 
as many coats on as you can afford, rub the suritace with pumice and 
water and wash off thoroughly ; let it stand 24 hours ; then rub with 
rotten stone and water; wash and clean off as before, and give it 
another 24 hours' rest ; then polish with rotten stone and olive oil, and 
if you have used a good varnish you will have as good a job as can be 
done. 

— 360 — 

How China Glossing Should Be Done. 

The interior of a fine dwelling in a Southern city was finished with 
French zinc white and damar varnish. Twenty years later the sur- 
face appeared yellow with age, though showing no pronounced checks, 
except in places where the light was strong. The owner thought two 
coats of zinc white in damar varnish would be sufficient, and the 
painter asked for advice. 

We should strongly advise you against making a contract 
for the work on the owner's proposition before you have thoroughly 



144 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

investigated the condition of the surface. You will find, on close in- 
vestigation, fine cracks, not only where the light is strong, but most 
likely all over the surface of the old paint. To repaint this without 
preparing it would not add to your reputation as a painter, because 
the checks would simply show through your paint. To do the job in 
a proper manner will require a thorough washing down of the sur* 
face and a cutting down of the same in order to get, if possible, under 
the checks to the white lead groundwork, which, no doubt, is there 
solid and without cracks. If you succeed in doing this you should 
then give one coat of white lead, thinned half oil and half turps, with 
as little pale drier as possible, and when this coat has thoroughly 
hardened one coat of French zinc white, thinned with turpentine only, 
so as to dry flat. This coat should be sandpapered and dusted, then 
one coat of China gloss white given as a finish. If the owner wants a 
first-class job and is willing to pay for it, the coat of China gloss, after 
standing four or five days,, can be mossed or haired down with flour 
of pumice and water, and a second coat given. If you do not care to 
use prepared China gloss white, you can make your own preparation 
by thoroughly mixing two pounds French zinc white in damar var- 
nish with one gallon clear damar varnish, but we believe it will pay 
you best to purchase the material prepared ready for use. 

— 361 — 
Various Ways of Painting Plastered Walls. 

If you wish to paint whitewashed walls or ceilings in oil 
or water and make a durable job, soften the whitewash with a wash 
made of one pound potash, dissolved in ten quarts of soft water, ap- 
plying it repeatedly over the surface with a large sponge, then scrape 
off. However, if the whitewash adheres well, you can save yourself 
the expense of removing it, and bind it with a glue size, over which 
you may put your kalsomine without risk of its coming off and tak- 
ing the old whitewash with it. 

The glue size must be made from good white sheet glue, one pound, 
one pound good white bar soap, two ounces of alum. First soak the 
glue over night in enough water to make a jelly, then melt it in a 
water bath, adding from one to two quarts boiling water. Dissolve 
the alum and soap each separately in a quart of boiling water, and 
when all are thoroughly dissolved, mix the glue and soap water ; then 
add the alum solution slowly, stirring during the operation. Finally 
add one gallon cold water. In order to make it penetrate, it must be 
applied warm, or it will not hold the whitewash securely on the wall. 
This is for kalsomining or water color painting only ; for oil painting 
the whitewash must be removed by all means. In the latter case, ap- 
ply a thin coat of white lead priming, say about ten pounds of keg 
lead to seven pints raw oil, and one pint turpentine and drier. When 
this coat has become hard, give one coat of glue size, which will save 
you two coats of paint. 

This glue should be made in the usual way from good white glue 
to a fair consistency, and when nearly cold, one-half ounce nitric acid 
should be added for every pound of glue used, which will keep it 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 145 

liquid and prevent it from spoiling. In place of nitric acid, double the 
quantity of acetic acid may be employed. 

When the glue size has dried hard, as many coats as are necessary 
to cover up uniformly are applied, using white lead in oil thinned with 
raw oil and turpentine, finishing in either white lead or zinc, tinted to 
suit, flat or in gloss. This applies to newly plastered walls, as well as 
to whitewashed wails, and while kitchens, halls, etc., should be in 
gloss, we think the walls and ceilings of churches, school houses and 
other public halls look far better when painted flat with a faint eggshell 
gloss finish. When old painted walls that are very dirty are to be 
renovated, dust them carefully, then scrub the same with soap and 
water, to which a little ammonia has been added ; then follow with 
sponge and clear water, wiping up with dry sponge or cloth. In re- 
painting, cracks must be filled in and touched up as described in No. 

353- 
If you desire to kalsomine whitewashed or newly plastered walls, 

prepare the kalsomine or water color as follows: Soak over night 

one pound of good white sheet glue in cold water. If there is too 

much water, pour it off, then dissolve the glue in the usual water bath. 

This will be sufficient for twenty pounds of best gilders' whiting, 

which should be mixed with water to a stiff batter, to which is added 

one pound of alum, dissolved in hot water. Before the glue is added, 

the tinting colors should be added to the whiting, and such colors 

should be ground in water, as dry colors will streak. Test the mixture 

on a piece of white paper until you have the desired tint or shade. 

When you have the proper tint, add the glue and test to see whether 
you have enough binder, and if not add more glue, then set aside to 
cool. Remember that you must have enough binder so that the first 
coat will not rub up when applying the second. 

For a clear white job, add a little ultramarine blue; for a blue tint,, 
use more ultramarine. Do not use Prussian or Chinese blue, as it is 
apt to green off. For a light green tint, use chrome yellow and ultra- 
marine blue, and for terra cotta tint, use light Venetian red. 

As to bur opinion on the respective merits of oil colors vs. water 
color painting of walls, would say that it is a question of first cost, 
kalsomining being much the cheaper of the two methods, while oil 
color is the more durable. When oil color becomes stained from 
leaky roofs, smoke, etc., the surface can be cleaned down and look as- 
good as new, while stains in kalsomined walls cannot easily be re- 
moved. 

— 362 — 
Should Gold Leaf Be Varnished? 

Genuine gold leaf will not tarnish from exposure to 
weather, even salt air, and is better left unprotected by varnish for two 
good reasons. First, any varnish, no matter how pale and trans- 
parent, will dim the luster of gold; and, second, varnish is sure to 
crack in a year or two, giving the gold an appearance of perishing, 
while when the gold leaf is left free from varnish, it will remain 
bright and lustrous for years. 



146 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 363 — 

Painting and Finishing Enameled Furniture. 

The priming is done with keg lead, which is thinned with 
turpentine and very little bleached oil and white japan. On this are 
applied two coats of quick-drying flake white, thinned with turps only, 
the last coat of which is smoothly sandpapered. Now a coat of white 
enamel is given, this enamel to consist of the finest French zinc in a 
hard white enamel varnish and allowed to set for three days, when 
it is rubbed with pumice and water. After twenty-four hours another 
coat of enamel is applied, which after forty-eight to seventy-two hours 
is mossed or haired down with flour of pumice and water. If the sur- 
face is good and uniform, this is polished with rotten stone and sweet 
oil ; if not, another coat of enamel must be given and proceeded with 
as before, and finally polished as stated. This will be smooth as a 
mirror and hard as bone. In surfacing, each coat of lead or flake 
white must be permitted to dry hard before another is applied. 

— 364 — 
Priming with Yellow Ocher. 

We do not consider yellow ocher the best material for priming new 
woodwork, because even the best and finest French yellow ocher is at 
best a brittle pigment. When the priming may stand several weeks or 
months before second coating, we consider a mixture of equal parts 
of white lead and finely ground yellow ocher, thinned with pure raw 
linseed oil only, an excellent priming, when applied thin and well 
brushed in, especially for soft woods, but for yelllow pine and other 
hard woods we consider a thin wash of pure white lead and raw lin- 
seed oil with a little turpentine the only good priming material, es- 
pecially when the work must be hurried along. Coarse ochers are en- 
tirely unfit for priming. 

— 365 — 

To Remove the Old Paint and Varnish from Hobby Horses. 

We have had no special experience in that work, but think 
that you had best try the torch, if you wish to make any headway. A 
lye or soda solution would, no doubt, prove most effective and would 
scarcely affect the glued joints very seriously, but it would raise the 
grain of the wood in such a manner that you would be unable to pro- 
duce good work in repainting. American fusel oil, free from water, is 
a first-class remover of varnish, but the work is tedious when there 
are heavy coatings to be removed, and the fumes are rather injurious 
to the system of the operator. A mixture of two parts by volume of 
aqua ammonia and one volume of spirits of turpentine produces an 
emulsion that softens paint and varnish and does not raise the grain 
of the wood, but its action on old coatings is very slow and tedious. 
Try the various methods described here on one or more of the ani- 
mals, and you will probably find that the burning off of the paint with 
a gasoline torch that is dexterously handled will prove the most rapid 
as well as the most economical and cleanest method of all. If you 
work quickly, you need have no fear of softening the glue in the joints. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 147 

Have the necessary sticks and scrapers ready that you need to re- 
move the softened paint from the carved portions before you make a 
start. 

— 366 — 

How to Prepare a Filler for Iron Surfaces. 

To make an extra good iron filler successfully, has cost 
manufacturers years of experimenting and large expenditure of 
money. So you may readily see that they do not publish their formu- 
las broadcast and they are difficult to obtain. Even when such formu- 
las are known, there is something in their manipulation that requires a 
little experience and practice. These fillers, beingf sold at a compara- 
tively low figure, must be made on a large scale, in order to render a 
fair profit. There are many good iron fillers on the market, ^nd we 
would advise you to purchase your filler ready made. However, if you 
wish to make a good iron filler, regardless of cost, mix three parts by 
weight of stiff keg lead, with six parts of Pennsylvania black filller, 
three parts bolted whiting, six parts floated silica or silex, with a mix- 
ture of three parts by weight of a fair grade of rubbing varnish, two 
parts of coach japan and one part spirits of turpentine to a stiff paste, 
which fun loosely through a paint mill to mix thoroughly, or, still bet- 
ter, grind in a putty chaser. This may be used as a putty or surfacer, ' 
applied with spatula broad-knife, or it may be thinned with turpentine 
and applied with a brush. If not dark enough to suit, add some well 
calcined lampblack or bone black, dry. May be smoothly sandpapered 
within reasonable time, and will not clog the paper. 

— 367 — 

Japanning in Black of Pressed Steel Articles, Applying the Dipping 

Process. 

The main requisite is a drying oven, in which the tempera- 
ture can be raised to and held at from 300 deg. to 350 deg. Fahrenheit. 
The size of this oven must be commensurate to the number and size 
of the articles to be placed therein at one and the same time. For 
instance, if it is desired to bake 1,000 pieces of sheet iron or steel plates 
of about 6 by 8 inches at one baking, an oven 8 feet in length, 5 feet 
wide and 4 feet in height, with the proper arrangement of iron racks 
should fill the bill. Ten rods running lengthwise through the oven, 
one set near the top and another set one foot below this would be suffi- 
cient to hold that number and keep them three-fourths of an inch apart. 
The oven to be built of either sheet iron or brick, with several vent 
holes on top and either steam or hot-air pipe coils in bottom to be fed 
with live steam or hot air. 

The next requisite is a dipping vat of suitable size and a run or to- 
boggan arrangement, which has balusters on either side, and whose 
bottom inclines toward the dipping vat, so as to return the dippings 
to the vat. On either side ouside of the balusters is a pathway for the 
men, who are doing the dipping to walk up and deposit the dipped 
plates, or rather the long stick on. which the plates are suspended on the 
balusters. A stick 3 feet long should carry at least 24 of the plates. 



148 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

suspended to the stick by suitable hooks or clasps, and when the plates 
have dripped or drained sufficiently and the paint or japan has set, they 
should be placed in the drying or baking oven at once, and when the 
oven is filled the heat should be turned on immediately and kept on 
for three or four hours, even six hours would do no harm. 

As to the black baking japan for dipping, unless the firm desiring 
to use such material are equipped to manufacture the material, they 
had better ask for samples and prices from reputable varnish makers, 
stating that they want a thoroughly elastic and durable baking japan 
in black, and select the best of those offered. One that will readily 
chip or abrase at the least knock the metal receives after baking is not 
worthy of consideration. 

Japanners often give as many as three, four, five and even six coats 
to their work, baking every single coat before applying the next one. 
For the work in hand, two coats are certainly sufficient, a ground and 
a finishing coat. It may be that one coat will be ample, but that is a 
matter to be decided on trial. An essential point is that the metal be 
entirely clean and free from rust and grease before dipping. 

In preparing black (or any other) baking japans, rosin and benzine 
or gasoline must be avoided if the work is to look well and be durable. 
For a first coat or ground, the best material is made by melting say 
25 pounds Cuban asphaltum, adding 25 pounds hot balsam of copaiva^ 
stirring well together, taking from the fire to a safe distance and thin- 
ning down with spirits of turpentine, previously warmed, to proper 
consistency for dipping. 

For finishing coat, or when one coat is ample, the very best japan is 
made by melting, say, 30 pounds gilsonite and 30 pounds Cuban as- 
phaltum, thinning with 80 gallons of hot linseed oil that has been boiled 
previously with 12 pounds litharge and 4 pounds manganese oxide, and 
when nearly .cool thinned with turpentine to proper consistency for 
dipping. 

If of too brown a tone, lampblack or drop black ground in turpentine 
may be added to give a more jet black luster. 

— 368 — 
The Drying of French Yellow on Floors. 

French yellow is simply yellow or French ochre under 
another name, and will remain "sticky" or "cleave off" when put on a 
greasy surface that has been cleaned with soap or lye and has not 
been rinsed thoroughly. Ocher in oil is not a good thing to paint floors 
with, unless it be an unpainted floor in very porous condition or on 
very spongy wood. To apply it over old paint or hard wood, 
nke yellow pine, by itself is a mistake ; it should be mixed with its own 
bulk of white lead, and the mixture should be thinned with a good hard 
drying ja^an and turpentine, so as to dry with a good eggshell gloss 
only. For interior floors it should be mixed with at least its own 
weight of zinc white, and thinned as noted above. The principal fea^ 
ture, however, is to make the paint as thin as possible and brush it out 
to the utmost. It will, when so mixed, cover well enough at any rate. 
A first-class floor paint, though somewhat expensive, but .one that 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 149 

wears well, may be made by mixing fine French ocher with wood alco- 
hol shellac varnish, Venice turpentine and fusel oil. Two pounds 
ocher, seven pints wood alcohol, one-fourth pint Venice turpentine and 
three-fourths pint fusel oil is the proper proportions. 

— 369 — 

Causes for the Creeping of Paint and Their Remedy. 

Creeping or crawling of ps^int amounts to the same thing, 
and is caused either by a greasy surface or by too high a gloss of the 
under coats. When an old surface is to be repainted, as in kitchens, 
etc., the walls and woodwork must be cleaned thoroughly with soap- 
suds or ammonia and water, well rinsed and allowed to dry thoroughly 
before beginning to paint. On the exterior of buildings, it is princi- 
pally in the sheltered places that paint creeps or crawls, because there 
the gloss of the old paint usually remains, because the elements have 
had no opportunity to attack the paint and destroy the gloss. It is 
well to add some turpentine to oil paint for use in these places. A trifle 
of a weak solution of potash added to the paint will prevent its 
crawling. 

« 

— 370 — 

Simple Method for Staining Cypress and Southern Yellow Pine in 

Imitation of Golden, Antique and Red Oak. 

As cypress wood is apt to quirl up after having been 
smooth planed and sandpapered, water stain is not a good material to 
apply, and therefore we would suggest the use of oil and pigment stain, 
which will also answer best for the yellow pine, as it is^very pitchy, 
and water stains would not penetrate well into it. For golden oak 
stain use burnt umber in oil and asphaltum, say one pound of the for- 
mer and one pint of the latter, add one-half pint of best brown japan, 
and when well beaten together thin with turpentine to the consistency 
of a very thin varnish and apply. 

When the stain has set, wipe with a cloth to bring out the high 
lights. Try it on a strip of the lumber first, and if the effect is not 
golden enough add some medium chrome yellow. But you must bear 
in mind that golden oak is really white or red oak stained, and that 
you cannot obtain an effect quite similar on the woods you mention. 

For the antique oak stain use a good raw umber in oil, say one pound, 
and two pounds of Vandyke brown in oil, to which you may add, if 
required, one-half pound of drop black in oil and one pint of best brown 
japan. After beating these well together, thin with turpentine in the 
same manner as the golden oak stain and apply, proceeding as above. 

To imitate red oak, make a stain from strong Venetian red and add 
a trifle of drop black to subdue the glaring redness. 

It is self-evident that the colors must be of the utmost degree of 
fineness and strength, as yellow pine is rather difficult to stain. 



ISO 7^9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 371 — 

Chipped Glass or Embossed Glass Gilding. 

The object of this method of gilding on glass is to have 
the gold leaf appear dead flat in some parts of ornaments or parts of 
letters, while the other parts are burnished, which gives very pretty 
effects. The chipping or embossing is accomplished by either the sand 
blast or by the hydrofluoric acid treatment, the former method being 
the most rapid, economical and surest one. 

To etch or chip glass with hydrofluoric acid, which should be kept 
in lead vessels or gutta percha bottles, the glass must be laid down 
flat and the design or letters must be cut in with a varnish made of 
equal parts of asphaltum and parafiine wax, that are melted together 
and somewhat thinned with turpentine. Two or three coats of this 
may be necessary in order to cover well, and then a border of soft bees- 
wax is run around the edge of glass to keep the acid from running 
over and from running under the edges of the protective varnish. Now 
the hydrofluoric acid is poured on so that the parts to be eaten are well 
covered. Let it remain imtil the etching is deep enough, then pour off 
the acid and rinse well with clear water, remove the wax border and 
the protective varnish, and when dry go on with the gilding, using 
Ihe usual isinglass size for laying the leaf. Sometimes, however, there 
may be ragged edges by following this method, because the protec- 
tive varnish cannot always be depended upon, as the acid will at 
times find its way under the edges, and therefore the sand blast ma- 
chine does cleaner work, because here a paper stencil can be employed 
that is pasted all over the surface of the glass, allowing the blast to 
act only on the cut-over portions. 

The sand used on glass should be hard and sharp, and, above all, 
free from dust. No coarser sand than that which will go through a 
sieve having forty wires to the lineal inch should be used, and sand 
passed through sixty-mesh sieves will be none too fine in many cases. 

As stated before, the sand blast process produces cleaner work and 
with much greater rapidity, but, of course, it does not pay to purchase 
a machine unless there is plenty of such work to be done. The man 
who has only a job in that line occasionally will have recourse to the 
hydrofluoric acid treatment, while those who make a specialty of this 
class of work employ the up-to-date improved sand blast machines 
that are worked by steam power. 

— 372 — 

To Keep a Solution of Glue in Liquid Form. 

Dissolve your glue as usual, and place it in a glass jar or 
earthen dish, and while still warm add to the solution one ounce of 
strong nitric acid for every pound of glue used in making the solution. 
Stir the acid in slowly and stop stirring when effervescence has ceased,, 
allow to cool ,and keep in a tightly closed vessel. To be in the right 
condition it must emit a smell as sour as ordinary household vinegar. 
For fine work, prepare your liquid glue by filling a wide-mouthed 
bottle a little more than half full with good white sheet glue and filling 



7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ^ANSWERED, 151 

the bottle with white whisky or equal parts grain alcohol and rain 
water. Keep well corked. 

— 373 — 

Deep Rosewood Stain for Hardwood. 

By referring to No. 344 you will find a paragraph headed, "Formula 
for Making Oil Wood Stains," in which, among others, you will find 
the formula desired. 

You may vary this by using a good, genuine ivory drop black, 
ground fine in oil in place of the asphaltum, and make up the stain by 
using two pounds rose pink in oil and from one half pound to one 
pound of ivory drop black in oil, one pint boiled oil, one pint best brown 
japan and about one quart of turpentine. It will depend on the skill 
of the workman to obtain the right effect in wiping off the surplus stain 
on setting. 

— 374— 

Restoring Blackened Spots in Yellow Pine. 

After you have removed the varnish with ammonia, a good 
saturated solution of oxalic acid applied repeatedly and rinsed with 
clear water thoroughly should restore the wood to a lighter color, but 
the black spots should be treated with an application of a solution of 
tin in dilute muriatic acid. Dissolve a piece of tin the size of a nickel 
in one-half pint of commercial muriatic acid and dilute with a smilar 
quantity of water. Apply with a sponge tied to the end of a stick, re- 
peatedly, then rinse with clear water and allow to dry; then sandpaper. 
If this does not lighten up the spots, then there is no remedy, because 
the trouble is too deepseated. 

-375 — 
Painting of an Iron Stack With. Lampblack and Oil Against 

Asphaltum. 

An iron stack was painted with two coats of asphaltum, which per- 
ished in less than eight months. 

The asphaltum black " was probably one of those cheap 
nostrums composed of part asphaltum and part coal tar or rosin. A 
true asphaltum varnish with a good portion of oil would no doubt 
have stood longer. One coat of a lampblack and kettle boiled linseed 
oil will last much longer than two coats of cheap asphaltum, but both 
lampblack and oil must be first class and the surface must be thor- 
oughly scraped and wirebrushed to remove every trace of asphaltum 
and rust. We should advise giving the stack two coats of lampblack 
and oil. 

— 376 — 

Quantity of Linseed Oil Required to Grind Various Pigments Into 

Paste. 

In the following we give the average quantity in pounds of oil re- 
quired, when the materials named are bone dry and in finely powdered 
state : 



152 739 PAINT- QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

Materials. Lbs.) Material. Lbs. 

White lead 9|Chinese blue 105 

Zinc white 20jUltramarine blue 40 

China clay 35jlmit. Cobalt blue 45 

Terra alba 26jGenuine cobalt blue 85 

Whiting, bolted 23 Chrome yellow, light 25 

Blanc fixe 15 Chrome yellow, medium 30 

Barytes 8 Chrome yellow, dark 26 

French carmine. No. 40 75 

Verdigris 5^ 

Bone black 100 



Silica *. 32 

Lithopone 13 

Yellow ocher 34 

American ocher 30 

Burnt ocher 32 

Raw Ital. sienna no 

Burnt Ital. sienna 90 

Red oxide 28 



Venetian red 26 

Indian red 22 

Tuscan red 28 

Raw Turkey umber 100 

Burnt Turkey umber 85 

Vandyke brown 115 

Bitumen 125 

Brown madder 100 

Red madder 120 

Prussian blue 100 



Lampblack 250 

Gas black '. 420 

Mineral black 90 

Drop black 1 25 

Vegetable black 150 



Mineral brown 2S 

Terra verte 80 

Viridian 90 

C. P. chrome Green, L 30 

C. P. chrome green, D 35 

Comm'l chrome green, L 18 

Comim'l chrome green, D 20 

English vermilion 16 

American vermilion 18 

jEmerald green 37 



With the exception of the chrome greens with the prefix Comm'l, 
the colors named are chemically pure, and the quantities of oil indi- 
cated are such as are actually required in practice and not copied from 
text-books. 

— 377 — 
Painters' Cream. 

Painters' cream is a sort of emulsion used by artists to 
cover their paintings with temporarily during transportation or when 
buildings containing costly or treasured works of art are renovated, 
and is made as follows: Gum mastic, 2 ounces, dissolved in 14 ounces 
pale nut oil by heat ; add to this one-half ounce by weight of white 
sugar of lead, previously ground fine in linseed oil : then add water 
slowly and gradually until an emulsion of the consistency of cream i3 
formed. This cream can be removed readily with sponge and water. 

— 378 — 

The Preparation of Crayons for Drawing Upon Paper. 

Crayons are usually made up of color and some substance 
that will dilute the color to the desired shade. The substance must 
have the required softness and tenacity, so as to adhere readily to 
paper, when rubbed over it or against it. To form the crayons a 
wooden block is used that has half a dozen or more cylindrical holes 
of the intended diameter of the crayons bored through it, and these 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 153 

are filled with the crayon mass, and the mass is then pushed out of the 
holes by means of well-fitting plugs, the crayons cut into proper lengths 
and dried. All the materials used for making crayons must be in im- 
palpably fine powder and no gritty substance used under any consid- 
eration. The best formula we know of for making crayons is as fol- 
lows: 

1. Take pipe clay (kaolin) or equal parts of pipe clay and finest pre- 
pared chalk and sufllicient color to suit. Make into a paste with pale 
ale, not too old or musty, and put into the forms described. 

2. Take equal parts of floated pipe clay and finest prepared or floated 
chalk, add the required coloring and mix with hot sweet ale, in which 
has been dissolved a few small pieces of isinglass to a stiff paste, which 
put into the forms. 

To color the crayon mass, use the following : For black : Graphite, 
ivory black or lampblack. Blue: Prussian blue, ultramarine blue or 
indigo. Brown: Burnt Turkey umber or Cassel brown. Green: 
Chrome yellow or ocher mixed with Prussian or ultramarine blue. 
Purple: Madder lake and ultramarine blue. Red: Vermilion or red 
lake. White : Add a tinge of ultramarine blue to the mixture of clay 
and chalk. Yellow: Indian yellow or zinc yellow. Crayons for writ- 
ing on glass may be made by cutting French chalk into suitable pieces. 

— 379 — 
Cleaning and Relacquering Brass Chandeliers. 

We need hardly dwell upon the well-known fact that the 
first essential is and everything depends upon having the brass free 
from grease and dirt. Unless you are very careful on this point you 
will never be able to obtain good color for this class of work. The 
chandeliers should be taken down and taken apart and the parts boiled 
in a strong solution of pearlash until apparently clean, then placed 
into a vessel containing a solution of one part of aquafortis to four 
parts of water, letting them remain in this solution for about one hour, 
when they should be washed or scoured in clear water with a brush 
until every part is clean. Now make up a solution of equal parts of 
nitric and sulphuric acid and add to this about one-third part of nitric 
acid in which has been dissolved some zinc in the proportion of one 
of zinc to three of acid. When this mixture comes to a boil, dip in the 
parts until they acquire the color you want : one-half minute will usu- 
ally do it. Rinse the parts well in clear water and dry with sawdust. 
Do all this work out of doors on account of the fumes of the nitric 
acid. When dry, rub the parts with soft rags and leather, and when 
heated sufficiently apply the lacquer. A good lacquer is made as fol- 
lows: Bleached shellac, 8 ounces; gamboge, ^ ounce; alos, i^ ounces: 
alcohol, I gallon. 

Place the ingredients in a well-corked bottle and shake occasion- 
ally until dissolved, then strain through cheesecloth. 

Lacquer the exposed parts only, and in applying the iacquer use 
only the very tip of the brush and do it with a steady hand. Before 
lacquering, handle the parts with a piece of clean cloth, and never 
handle lacquered work until entirely cold. 



154 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

Remember that the brass must be heated before the lacquer is ap- 
plied, but not to such an extent that the lacquer is burned. 

— 380 — 

Gilding on Glass — Size for Laying the Leaf. 

It is best to use the pure gold leaf for gilding on glass; 
otherwise gold bronze powder might as well be employed. The isin- 
glass size is best for gilding on glass, be the work smooth or em- 
bossed. We have never known any quick varnish size to hold gold 
leaf on glass for more than one or two seasons, no matter how well 
the work was backed up, while pure leaf laid in isinglass size double 
we have known to have remained on exposed show windows for ten 
to fifteen years. Much, of course, depends oh the backing, and toa 
much scrubbing of the signs will destroy the backing in undue time. 

— 381 — 

Color Combinations for the Walls and Ceilings of Hotel Rooms. 

The following suggestions are given for rooms intended as bed- 
rooms, therefore you do not want any loud color combinations nor 
dark somber colors, but rather soft, delicate tints, and would give you 
the following as a suggestion : ' 

Wall, subdued orange; ceiling, bluish green; picture molding, sil- 
ver bronze; woodwork, salmon. 

Wall, bluish purple; ceiling, orange tint; picture molding, gold 
bronze; woodwork, Tuscan red. 

Wall, red purple; ceiling, yellow green; picture molding, gold 
bronze; woodwork, Tuscan red. 

Wall, grefenish tint; ceiling, light blue tint; picture molding, silver 
bronze; woodwork, pea green. 

Wall, lavender blue; ceiling, silver green; picture molding, gold 
bronze; woodwork, lavender blue. 

Wall, carnation red; ceiling, silver green; picture molding, gold 
bronze; woodwork, flesh color. 

Wall, old gold; ceiling, blue-gray tint; picture molding, silver 
bronze; woodwork, cream. 

Wall, old ivory; ceiling, light sky blue; picture molding, silver 
bronze; woodwork, ivory tint. 

Wall, primrose yellow; ceiling, ultramarine tint; picture molding,, 
silver bronze; woodwork, white. 

Wall, warm pinkish gray: ceiling, green-gray tint; picture molding,, 
gold bronze; woodwork, white. 

Wall, dove gray; ceiling, light gray tint; picture molding,- gold 
bronze; woodwork, light gray. 

The combinations named are simply given as an index of what 
colors Vould work well together, but you must consider the amount 
of light that each room would have and arrange the depths of your 
tints accordingly. The furniture of the rooms should also be consid- 
ered, "and the paint of the woodwork should be in harmony with that 
of the walls, unless the woodwork in all of the rooms is to be alike,, 
say cream color, ivory or clear white. Eggshell gloss finish looks bet- 
ter than full gloss ; it appears more velvety. 



7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 155 

— 382 — 

Colored Transparent Varnish for Coating Incandescent Lamp Globes 

in Various Colors. 

The quickest method is to employ thin spirit lacquer, which may be 
made by dissolving aniline colors in alcohol, filtering the solutions and 
adding the same to a solution of gum sandarac in alcohol. 

For red, use eosine ; for green, aniline green ; for amber, a mixture 
of aniline yellow and Bismarck brown. Less than one ounce of these 
dyes will be required for coloring enough lacquer to dip twenty globes. 
For preparing sufficient lacquer for the three colors, powder one pound 
gum sandarac of the pale variety, place in a stoppered bottle with two 
quarts of 95 per cent, spirit, put in a warm place and shake occasion- 
ally until the gum is dissolved ; then add one-half pound clear Venice 
turpentine and filter. To hasten the solution, the bottle may be placed 
in a bath of warm water." Divide the resulting solution into three por- 
tions, and add to each the previously prepared alcoholic solutions of 
aniline colors until the lacquer is of sufficient strength to suit your 
ideas, which you can readily test by dipping a piece of clear glass into 
the same. By following this plan you will obviate the use of an oven 
to dry your globes after dipping and obtain a more brilliant effect than 
by employing copal varnish. 

— 383 — 
Lining on Water Colors. 

The best method of lining on water colors is to use the same size as 
for the body color, and draw your lines quickly along the straight 
edge, always using camel's hair pencils of the proper width. In order 
to get along unhampered, have your pot of color fastened to a belt 
around your waist. 

— 384 — 

Molds for Casting Plaster Ornaments. 

The latest and most favored molds for plaster casts are 
a combination of glue and glycerine, and the mass is prepared as fol- 
lows: In a suitable kettle place five pounds of good glue with five 
pounds of soft or rain water, and allow it to stand for twenty-four 
hours. Now pour off the superfluous water and place the kettle into 
the water bath, i. e., into a larger kettle that contains boiling water 
or into a regular apparatus designed for melting glue. When the 
glue so treated has become liquid, add to the above quantity three 
pounds crude glycerine and twenty-five grammes salicylic acid and 
stir the mass well, so as to obtain an intimate mixture. * This done the 
liquid must be filtered through fine cheesecloth into a clean vessel and 
when the foam has disappeared, the mass may be made into molds, 
but the procedure must be necessarily slow in order to prevent foam- 
ing and thereby avoid defects. The mold can be taken off only when 
it has cooled thoroughly and become hard to the touch. In taking off 
the mold, it is cut into suitable sections with a sharp knife, which 
are, when casting, set together again and held with cords or wire. As 



156 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

«oon as these molds have become cold they must be coated with tal- 
•cum first and then be given two or three coats of copal varnish, slightly 
thinned with turps. This treatment makes the mold water repellant, 
as well as proof against the possible damage that might result from the 
casting of the plaster, respectively the heating up of the same during 
the hardening of the cast. 

— 385 — 
Creosote Shingle Stains. 

Although but one manufacturer can use the word "creo- 
sote" in connection with shingle stains, as he has the name protected 
by letters patent, this, however, will not prevent others from making 
a stain with creosote as the vehicle, under another name. 

The preparation of such stain is very simple, and requires but little 
experimenting, but some knowledge in the selection of pigments is 
necessary. Aniline colors, of course, would Iceep in suspension best, 
but are undesirable, because of their fading tendency on exposure, 
while the fast coal tar colors are most too expensive. Therefore the 
best plan is to select oil colors of the greatest strength and firmness, 
break them up to a thin paste with boiled linseed oil and sufficient oil 
drier to impart drying property and thin out with creosote oil to the 
consistency of milk. For instance, to make a reddish-brown shingle 
stain take one pound of Venetian red, medium shade, break it up with 
a gill of oil drier or liquid drier, free from rosin or other gum, and a gill 
of boiled linseed oil, and add to this enough creosote oil to make one gal- 
lon of stain. If not strong enough, use a greater portion of Venetian 
red or use a stronger red oxide. The same method may be followed to 
obtain the various colors or effects, but in order to keep the pigment 
from becoming solid by the stain standing in the package for some 
time useless base material must be avoided, and only colors of the 
greatest tinting strength and fineness selected. Pigments or colors 
containing admixtures of barytes, silica, clay, etc., will not answer in 
such stains, nor will ultramarine or imitation of cobalt blue hold up 
sufficiently. Lampblack, Prussian blue, sienna, raw and burnt ; umber, 
raw and burnt ; red oxide, a high grade of mineral brown and yellow 
ccher are best suited for coloring matter, and where white is required 
along with color for certain tints it is best to employ zinc white. 

In cases where the water from shingle roofs is not collected for 
drinking purposes, chroixie yellows and chrome greens may be em- 
ployed in the stains. If desirable to cheapen the stain, a portion of the 
creosote oil may be replaced with benzine (petroleum naphtha) or 
with kerosene. 

— 386 — 

What Is Water Lime and What Is Its Value in Paint? 

The following formula was found in an old book on painting for 
making outside paint: One part in bulk of water lime ground fine 
and two parts in bulk of white lead in oil, thoroughly mixed. 

The author of the book in question used the term water 
lime to describe water slaked lime, to distinguish it from air slaked 
lime. When caustic lime has been thoroughly slaked with an excess 



7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 157 

• s 

of water and allowed to stand for a few days and the clear surplus- ^ 
water drawn off, you have the material he refers to. This material, 
when ground fine in a mill, will present a pulp not unlike ordinary 
whiting that has been mixed with pure white lead that has been ground 
in oil, but in order to mix well the white lead should be first reduced 
to a consistency similar to that of the water lime with oil, and when 
both are thoroughly mixed by stirring the resulting paint must be re- 
duced to the right consistency for application with linseed oil and the 
necessary driers. While we do not recommend such dilution of good 
material, we do not hesitate to say that for rough work a paint made 
on such basis is a better paint than one that is loaded down with other 
make-weight materials or made up with impure oils. 

— 387 — 

Does an Excess of Turpentine in Oil Paint for Exterior Use Cause the 

White Lead to Blacken More Rapidly? 

While an excess of turpentine has no effect whatever on 
white lead directly, it is self-evident that as turpentine has no bind- 
ing properties it will tend to shorten the life of outside paint in pro- 
portion to its use in the composition of such paint. When outside 
paint has lost its gloss, it means the beginning of the disintegration 
or perishing of the paint, and when white paint begins to powder or 
chalk, it usually turns gray, which is termed ''blackening." 

It stands to reason, then, that when the paint has been made with 
pure linseed oil of good body and little drier only, it will hold its gloss 
and color much longer than it would if the body of the oil had been 
cut out by the addition of spirits of turpentine. 

— 388 — 

Is the Use of Oxalic Acid Solution as a Stain Remover Injurious to 

Subsequent Coats of Paint qr Varnish? 

The top of a stand had been scraped and sandpapered and after 
some black spots or stains on it had been treated with oxalic acid to 
bleach them, washed with water, and then dry sandpapered, filled and 
varnished, yet when the varnish was lightly rubbed, it shoved oflF from 
these spots. 

We have never known subsequent coats of stain, filler 
or varnish to be injured or kept from drying properly on spots where 
oxalic acid solutions have been used, even when the wood was not 
rinsed with clean water after treating with the solution, provided 
that enough time was allowed for the surface to dry out thoroughly, 
and we Are inclined to believe that the blackened spots were rather 
spongy and did not dry sufficiently before the filler and varnish were 
applied, and that the sealed up moisture caused your varnish to rub 
off, because it failed to obtain a proper hold on the spots in question. 

— 389 — 

Cheap Blackboard Slating for Plastered Walls. 

The cheapest way to ntake a blackboard on a plastered 
wall is to smooth sandpaper the surface first, then give a coat of lamp- 
black ground in oil, thinned with boiled oil and liquid drier; when^ 



158 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

dry give a second coat of lampblack in oil, thinned with equal parts 
boiled ofPand turpentine, to which some drier is added. When this 
is thoroughly dry, give a coat of drop black in japan, thinned with tur- 
pentine only in order to make a dead flat surface. In order to have 
this last coat bind properly, a tablespoonful of coach varnish should 
be added to one pint of the thinned paint, which should be applied 
quickly and evenly with a good, wide, flat varnish brush, so that no 
hips are visible. 

Another cheap paint for renewing old blackboards may be made by 
mixing silicate of soda with its own bulk of soft water and adding to 
this enough lampblack that has been ground in water to colcr this 
solution. ^ 

The blackboard to be renewed must, however, be thoroughl)^ 
cleansed before applying the paint. 

— 390 — 

White or Obscuring Acid for Glass Embossing. 

A mixture of one-third fluoric acid and two-thirds liquid ammonia. 
Must be kept in leaden or gutta percha bottles. 

— 391 — 
Silvering Glass Without Heat. 

There are a dozen methods for silvering glass, which have 
been at various periods described in scientific journals, but we 
shall here describe a few only, which strike us as being simplest of 
execution and most promising of success in the hands of the beginner. 
We will preface the description of the process by the remark that 
in each case a shallow pan or dish, but little larger than the plate of 
glass itself, is required for holding the silvering solution, and at least 
one-half inch deep, with a» perfectly level bottom. The most ordinary 
method is as follows : First, making reducing solution A by first dis- 
solving and then boiling 12 grains Rochelle salts in 12 ounces of dis- 
tilled water. While this is boiling, add 16 grains nitrate of silver 
dissolved in i ounce water and boil ten minutes longer, take from fire 
or flame and add enough cold water to make 12 ounces in all. Next 
make silvering solution B by dissolving i ounce nitrate of silver in 
10 ounces distilled water, add slowly liquid ammonia until the brown 
precipitate is nearly, but not quite, all dissolved, then add i ounce 95 
per cent, alcohol and sufficient water to make 12 ounces in all. Take 
equal parts by weight of solution A and B, mix them thoroughly and 
cover the bottom of the silvering dish with the same, and lay the 
glass, which has previously been cleaned with soda solution and rinsed 
with clear water, while still wet, face down into the mixture; let it 
remain in the dish or pan for about twenty minutes or thereabouts, 
rocking it gently near an open window, then take out glass and stand 
it on edge to drain. The solutions should stand a few days before 
being used to allow them to settle, and distilled water should be used 
in making them. One dram each of the solutions will be required 
for each square inch of surface. Another process is Draper's method, 
which is described in the following: 



729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 159 

Dissolve separately yyo grains Rochelle salts in three ounces dis- 
tilled water and 800 grains nitrate of silver, also in 3 ounces of water. 
Add of the silver solution to i ounce strong liquid ammonia until 
brown oxide of silver remains undissolved. Then add alternately 
ammonia and silver solution carefully until the nitrate of silver is ex- 
hausted, when a very little of the brown precipitate should remain, 
and filter. Just before using add the Rochelle salt solution and dilute 
the mixture with distilled water to make 22 ounces in all. Clean the 
glass or mirror with nitric acid or plain collodion and tissue paper. 
Coat a tin pan of suitable size with beeswax and rosin, equal parts, 
melted together. Fasten a stick one-eighth of an inch in thickness 
across bottom of pan and pour in the solution. Put the glass in quickly 
face downward, one edge first ; carry pan to open window and rock the 
glass slowly for half an hour. Bright objects should now be scarcely 
visible through the film. Take out the mirror and set on edge on blot- 
ting paper to dry,' and when thoroughly dry lay it face up on a dusted 
table. Stuff a piece of thin, soft buckskin with cotton loosely and go 
over the whole surface with this rubber in circular strokes. Put some 
fine rouge on a piece of buckskin and impregnate the rubber with it, 
polishing the silver in small circles, going gradually over the whole 
surface. After one hour of continued rubbing the surface will be pol- 
ished perfectly opaque and, with care, free from scratches. It is best, 
before silvering, to heat the solution and the glass in water of 100 
deg. F. . 

— 392 — 

To Keep Shellac Varnish from Gumming Up Under Application. 

Probably the best remedy would be to thin the shellac 
varnish with sufficient alcohol to make it flow and work more freely, 
but that will entail a loss of body, which is not always desirable. 

If you add to one gallon of shellac varnish one pound Venice tur- 
pentine or Canada balsam, and sufficient alcohol, you will find that 
it will flow more freely, though it will harden more slowly. 

— 393 — 

Sign Painters' Measurements and Prices. 

Sign painters, in making prices, charge so much per lineal 
foot for all glass, muslin, oilcloth and board signs, considering the 
height of the letter and style of letter, as well as color, adding 25 per 
cent, for shading. Lettering in gold is always 50 per cent, more than 
plain lettering. ' Wall signs are measured by the square foot, and ja- 
panned tin signs by their size. * 

— 394 — 

Glaziers' Putty that Will Not Crumble Nor Give Trouble in Re- 
glazing. 

Although there are still some pure linseed oil and whit- 
ing putties on the market, you have evidently had none of them. Most 
putty is made from a mixture of whiting and marble dust, or marble 



i6o 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

dust and putty oil alone, and you may imagine what putty oil is. The 
latter is a substitute for linseed oil to be used in making putty and 
may be recognized by the grease it leaves on top of the putty after 
glazing. The compounds made of marble dust may be identified by 
the shortness of the article and its lack of elasticity in working under 
the knife. The presence of putty oil (mineral oil, etc.) can be detected 
by the odor, when a small portion of the putty has been rubbed briskly 
between the hands. If you cannot obtain pure linseed oil and whit- 
ing putty under a guarantee, prepare it yourself as follows: 

Have some fine bolted American Paris or bolted gilders' whiting on a 
strong benc^, mixed with raw linseed oil and knead it into a stiff dough. 
Add all the whiting you are able to get into it and pound it with a 
club or mallet for some time, until it is thoroughly kneaded. Lay it 
aside in a warm place exposed to the air of the room for three or four 
days to sweat; then put back on the bench, knead and pound again, 
until it is good and pliable. If too soft add more whiting, but no more 
oil. The kneading, pounding and subsequent sweating is the most im- 
l)ortant feature in producing good putty. The usual orooortions are 
85 pounds whiting to 2 gallons of linseed oil. 

— 395 — 
An Experience of Paint Flaking from a Priming Composed of 

Remnants. 

A painter in Denver, Col., wanted to know why a certain brand ot 
paint that had stood well on some operations, flaked on certain exposed 
parts of a large dwellling, leaving the priming intact. His priming he 
always makes from the remnants of other jobs.' 

So long as your paint and oil have stood well on other 
operations, we may say that in your climate the material may be an 
excellent one, although a combination paint, and while it might have 
a tendency to flake under ordinary conditions in a hotter climate, we 
do not think it the fault of the surface coats, but would ascribe the 
trouble to the composition of your priming. Without entering into 
the nature of your priming material particularly, we would say that 
it is a failing with many painters to think that anything is good 
enough for priming new wood. We beg to differ with them in be- 
lieving that priming is the very foundation in painting, especially ex- 
terior wooden surfaces, and that nothing is so good as strictly pure 
white lead and raw linseed oil for that purpose. From the brand of 
paint you are using we can judge as to the pigment contained in the 
remnants of other jobs which, you state, you use for priming. Zinc 
white and barytes are not good pigments for a priming paint, nor are 
fatty oils and japan good vehicles for the same. And oil in remnants 
of paint that stand around for some time will become fatty, especially 
in the presence of lead salts that are contained in driers. Fatty oil 
in paint will sweat and come to the surface, and we rather think such 
action has been instrumental in throwing off the surface coats from 
the priming. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. i6i 

— 396 — 

Size for Rough Plastered Walls to Be Papered. 

Liquid glue is the best size for rough walls, when they 
are hard. Apply the glue size and let it dry hard ; then knock off the 
sandy grains with sandpaper and fill rough places with plaster of 
paris putty. Sandy walls should be leveled with a thin coat of kalso- 
mine, and, this being dry, a thin coat of glue size should be given. Let 
the glue size become hard, then put on the paper with light paste, and 
be careful to brush or pound down the paper carefully, as rollers will 
not work on rough walls. To make a first-class job, lining paper 
should be applied to rough walls, and we presume that you have ex- 
perience in that line. 

Liquid glue is made by soaking good, white glue in water over 
night, then melting it in the usual way and have it of good consistency. 
Put it, on cooling, into a wooden vessel and stir into the mass nitric 
water to desired consistency. 

— 397 — 

What Caused Paint from the Same Package to Vary in Shade on the 

Body of a House and Its Annex? 

A large square dwelling, with a kitchen annex was painted two 
coats Colonial yellow with light olive trimmings. The sides of the 
house were weatherboarded, while the kitchen was sheathed with ver- 
tical boards ten inches wide, the joints being covered with four-inch 
batten strips. When the work was finished the kitchen annex ap- 
peared three shades brighter than the body of the house, and there 
was no contrast between body and trimming color. 

You neglected to mention whether you painted the kitchen 
body in one color, or whether you did not paint the four-inch 
strips with the trimming color. Frbm what you give as the result we 
assume that you painted strips and all with the Colonial yellow. The 
kitchen, having no trimming, will appear lighter, because there is^ 
nothing to subdue the bright yellow, as is the case with the house. 
The selection of light olive as a trimming for the yollow is what causes 
the eflfect you describe, as olive harmonizes with yellow, but does not 
make a contrast. When yellow is trimmed with olive the two tints 
or colors appear altered — the yellow appears deeper, the olive lighter. 

This and the crosswise running of the grain of the timber strikes us 
as the cause of the varying result. 

— 398 — 

Bleaching Darkened Wood With Chloride of Lime and Soda Solution. 

A painter who had tried the formula given in No. 374 found it turned 
the wood dark and wanted to know the trouble and a remedy for it. 

Did you read the formula given in the October issue 
correctly and follow the directions carefully? If so, the whole surface 
should not have become dark, even if the black spots did not yield 
to the treatment. The oxalic acid solution should have restored the 
color of the balance of the surface, even if some of the muriatic acid 
and tin solution, being too strong, darkened it. We are afraid that 



i62 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

your yellow pine wainscoting is very sappy, and that it is the sap 
which is the real cause of discoloration. Make a solution of ly^ ounces 
chloride of lime and 2 ounces soda crystals (sal soda) in loj ounces 
of water, and keep the surface saturated with this for at least fifteen 
minutes. When the wood is light enough, wash off the chlorine with 
dilute sulphuric acid, very weak — say one-half pint acid to one quart 
water — then rinse with clear water. 

— 399 — 

How Stove Blacking May Be Prepared. 

Commercial stove blacking paste is usually made by grinding 
graphite in water through a mill to impalpable fineness. The 
paste is placed in forms and dried by heat. In using it is mixed with 
water, applied wet, permitted to dry and brought to a polish with 
brush or cloth. 

A better grade of stove polish is made by mixing finest pulverized 
graphite with its own weight of spirits of turpentine and adding for 
every pound of graphite used one ounce of water and one ounce of 
brown sugar. This is pressed into forms and allowed to dry. 

Liquid stove polish is made by mixing one part, by weight, of finely 
powdered bone black and one part, by weight, of pulverized graphite 
with two parts, by weight, of pulverized copperas, to which enouij^h 
water is added to form a creamy paste. 

— 400 — 

To Clean Off Smoke from Plaster Paris Ornaments. 

The simplest method is to make warm soapsuds, to which 
a little ammonia is added, say one tablespoonful of household am- 
monia to a quart of the suds, and apply to the ornaments with a soft 
brush. When clean and white, rinse thoroughly in clear water. If 
this treatment is not effective enough, make milk of lime (a little air 
slaked lime in water, which has the color of milk) and immerse the 
ornaments or figures in this for some time; then wash with clean water 
and, when dry, dust on some fine French chalk with a painter's duster 
or blender. 

Benzol and spirits of turpentine are also highly recommended for 
cleaning plaster ornaments, but we should prefer to use the soapsuds 
to any other treatment. 

— 401 — 

How to Obtain a Rich Wine Color Effect in Refinishing Old Furniture. 

In refinishing furniture the most economical method is 
to sandpaper down to below the old varnish, until a good surface is 
obtained, even if it is rubbed through to the wood in certain places. 
Such spots must be touched up with the proper stain, but, of course, 
water stain cannot be of service here. Use a quick drying oil stain, 
made from rose pink in oil, drier and turps, or, if price will permit, 
use rose madder. With this stain touch up the bare spots first, then 
go over the whole surface with the stain. When this is dry, give at 
least one coat shellac varnish, which sandpaper lightly, then apply 



729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. • 163 

two coats of cabinet rubbing varnish, which rub down with pumice 
and oil and polish with rotten stone and sweet oil. If this method is 
too expensive and tedious, omit the oil stain and shellac, and in its 
place apply, after touching up bare spots, one coat of color and varnish 
made by mixing enough rose pink in japan with furniture rubbing 
varnish to give desired effect, and on this give a coat of finishing var- 
nish, which you can moss down and polish in the usual way. 

— 402 — 

Removing Paint Spots and Stains from Stone and Cement Pavements. 

Make two solutions as follows : 

1. Place one-half pound of lime in a suitable vessel and slake the 
sanve with as little water as is required ; then add one-half pound of 
caustic soda (98 per cent.) and one quart of water. Stir a while and let 
stand to cool. 

2. In another vessel slake one pound of quicklime with as little water 
as is necessary to make it fall into a powder, then add one quart water. 
Cover the vessel and let stand to cool down. 

When the heat is well off, strain both solutions through a paint 
strainer; then mix the two. stirring well. 

Now, boil one-half pound wheat flour in one quart of water to a 
thick paste, but have no lumps in the same. 

While still hot, under constant stirring, in order to prevent lumping, 
slowly pour the combined solutions, No. i and No. 2, into' the paste, 
and when cool you will have a medium stiff paste, which will, when 
applied to the thickness of one-sixteenth of an inch, remove any oil 
or varnish paint in from thirty to forty-five minutes. from wood, iron, 
cement or stone. When the paint is removed, the surface should be 
immediately washed with strong vinegar or acetic acid to destroy 
any caustic matter. If the wood is somewhat discolored, it may be 
bleached with a strong solution of oxalic acid in water. Great care 
must be taken in preparing the material to prevent it from coming 
in contact with face and hands. Should be applied with trowels, or 
fiber brushes, or cotton waste swabs, as it will destroy bristle brushes 
in short order. 

— 403 — 

Venetian Red in Oil Turning Dark on Being Exposed for a Short 

Time. 

Venetian red is an oxide of iron, more or less diluted by 
a natural gangue. Gangue is the native earth, silicate of alumina, 
lime, manganese, sometimes magnesia or anything in that line that 
is associated in nature with the red oxide of iron. Venetian red may 
be a native red or it may be made artificially from copperas (sulphate 
of iron) with oyster shell lime or limestone in a furnace and may range 
anywhere from containing 10 per cent, to 60 per cent, of ferric oxide ; 
but in order to prove permanent in color, it must not contain any free 
sulphuric acid or any free sulphate of iron. 

You speak of English Venetian red as against domestic Venetian 
red, which is quoted as being equal to the former, and we would sayj 



i64 7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

that there are domestic reds which equal or even excel these, but it is 
for you and your fellows to determine the difference. The imported 
Venetian reds vary as well as the domestic brands, and once in a while 
either of them will give very bad results. Very much depends upon 
how these reds are mixed, and under what conditions they are applied. 
In a damp locality, where there is little or no sunlight, they soon turn 
dark and tend to blackening. This is usually called mildewing, but 
the same mixture applied where there is light and air stands well. 
Then there is a great deal in the way of mixing, grinding, and eventual 
thinning. Oxide of iron paints are prone to discolor the oil by giving 
off to the latter some of their oxygen, turning the oil dark on long 
standing. Another bad feature of Venetian reds is, if they contain 
more than a small portion — say, over five per cent, of carbonate of 
lime — ^they are very easily affected by sulphur gases, which attack the 
paint, first the oil and later the pigment. If you have the dry material 
from which the paints you mention are made, test the same by pour- 
ing hydrochloric acid over it, and if there is no effervescence there is 
no carbonate of lime present. In such case, take some of the material, 
put into a beaker glass and fill the glass with distilled water; stir well 
and let the pigment subside. Then insert litmus paper, and by this test 
ascertain whether there is any sulphate of iron present; the presence 
of lime will be demonstrated by the hydrochloric acid test. 

Railroad chemists, as a rule, confine the percentajge of carbonate of 
lime permissible in an oxide of iron red to less than lo per cent, and 
for good reasons. Carbonate of lime, in paint, will be affected by sul- 
phur gases as soon as the oil loses its hold and is turned into sulphate 
of lime, and because of the molecular change the paint loses its hold 
on the surface and powders off. The same action is the cause of the 
darkening of mineral or Venetian red in the presence of too much 
carbonate of lime. 

— 404 — 
Exterior Painted Work Spotted After a Severe Rain Storm in Winter. 

Several jobs painted in the summer, some with pure lead and oil and 
others with different makes of high grade prepared paints spotted 
badly after severe rain storms in the following December, 
contain a goodly portion of turps and driers. 

We always believe in a case of this kind that the best 
policy is to wait until the storm has subsided, and the painted surface 
given an opportunity to dry out again ; then to examine the same thor- 
oughly from every point of view on all sides. A bottle of a mixture of 
three-fourths of bodied boiled linseed oil and one-fourth turpentine and 
a small piece of sponge or flannel cloth will do good service. First 
wipe off with a cloth and a little benzine or turpentine the dust, dirt 
or soot that has settled on the surface ; then take your sponge or flan- 
nel, saturated with the mixture in the bottle, and rub briskly over the 
spotted surface, and if this does not make the spots disappear and reno- 
vate the paint then the paint has perished wherever the spots appear. 
Linseed oil paint, at best, is rather porous, that is not proof against 
the infiltration of water, and when the hot summer and fall months 
have had full sway upon it it is hardly able to withstand the ravages 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 165 

of a winter storm, especially in spots where the sap has been pulled 
out by the hot sun; more so, when paints have been employed that 
contain a goodly portion of turps and driers. 

— 405 — 

Cause of the Curdling of Japan Colors When Raw Oil Is Added. 

The fault may be in the japan in which the colors are 
ground in some instances, but not in all cases. There is not a single 
japan color that will mix well with raw oil, unless the color is first 
thinned with turpentine to the consistency of thick cream, and even 
here, if the pigment is of great bulk, like lampblack, drop black or 
lakes, there is a decided tendencv to curdle. We would attribute this 
partly to the great proportion of japan or varnish required in grinding 
those bulky pigments and the consequently greater resistance to mix- 
ing with oil and partly to the presence of moisture in raw linseed oil. 
A strong boiled oil or fatty varnish, it will be noted, mixes very readily 
with such colors and many letterers or stripers use slow drying coach 
varnish to make their lettering or striping colors flow freely from 
pencil or brush. 

— 406-^ 

How to Stain and Finish Flemish Oak. 

Flemish oak is a nearly black effect, without either the 
brownish or bluish tinge, therefore the stain must produce a greenish 
black tone. A strong decoction of green walnut shells applied repeat- 
edly will best bring the desired effect. If not deep enough, a solution 
made by dissolving sulphate of iron (green copperas) in water or by 
steeping iron filings in vinegar for a few days is applied over the walr 
nut shell decoction until the proper depth of color is secured. Such 
stains penetrate more deeply, do not hide the grain and produce tlie 
aged appearance, which oil or pigment water stains will not give. Ar- 
ticles of small size may be most effectively stained or aged by placing 
the pieces in an air-tight chest with a shallow dish full of liquid am- 
monia, but it requires more attention and time. 

After the wood has assumed the desired color allow it to dry in the 
air, and color some good paste-wood filler with raw umber and drop 
black; thin the same with turps to the consistency of varnish, and 
apply with a varnish brush of appropriate size. When set, wipe off the 
surplus filler with cotton waste, excelsior shavings or flax tow across 
the grain and allow the filler to harden ; then sandpaper and dust off. 
Now proceed as you would in finishing any other style of oak, accord- 
ing to the price obtained for the work, or as per specifications. 

It is always desirable in finishing Flemish oak to give at least one 
coat of orange shellac varnish to seal up the filler before applying the 
varnish, and it Would be a waste of money and time to apply two coats 
of white shellac varnish, which would certainly be required, as the 
white shellac is not as good a sealer. The shellac coating should be 
rubbed down with No. o sandpaper, but care must be taken not to rub 
through the coat. When this sandpapering is done, the work is ready 
to be varnished in any manner desired. 



i66 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 407 — 

Softening and Utilizing Paint Skins. 

When the skins are very old, dried up and hard like stone, 
it is cheapest to throw them on some dump, but when they are merely 
tough and appear dry without being like so much hardened cement, 
they may be cut up with a chopper, placed in a kettle over a fire, with a 
small quantity of oil and boiled at low heat, while continually stir- 
ring, so that they will not scorch on the sides. When the lumps are 
well broken up and soft, add more oil and boil further; then take kettle 
from fire and put the material, while still hot, through a paint strainer. 
If not fine enough, run through a paint mill, then thin with oil and 
turps to proper consistency for application, adding, if required, a small 
portion of driers. This makes a very elastic and durable paint for 
roofs, fences, etc., but it is not safe to use for priming new wood work. 
If the skins are fairly soft, they may be dissolved in a solution of one 
pound of sal soda in four gallons of water, which will require from six 
days to two weeks, if stirred occasionally, and finally put through a 
paint strainer, after pouring off the water. Paint so made can be util- 
ized for rough work, such as painting barns, fences, etc., only, and is 
unfit for priming new work. 

— 408 — 

Graining Woodwork in Imitation of Mahogany. 

Make your ground color of two parts of orange chrome 
yellow in oil and one part bright Tuscan red in oil, and thin with turps 
and a little drier so as to dry with eggshell gloss only. Apply two 
coats for new work, so that the wood is well covered. For the graining 
color use a rich burnt sienna and a little Vandyke brown, both ground 
in ale .or beer for distemper graining, and if the effect is not rich 
enough add a trifle of madder-lake, also ground fine in the same ve- 
hicle. Thin the color for spreading with stale ale or beer, and before 
applying it saturate a sponge with the same liquid and dampen the 
ground all over. If two coats of ground do not cover up solidly, give 
a third coat, but in that case let this coat dry out with more than egg- 
shell luster. The tools required are a sponge or cloth or a piece of 
buckskin for wiping out the lights ; an ordinary paint brush to put on 
the color, a blaze stick to make the bright blazes in the center of the 
branch. This may be made from a piece of wood shaved down thin, 
or a paper card, three inches long, one inch wide and very thin. A 
blender to soften the work, and a top grainer to put in the dark grain. 
Spread on the color with the brush, after dampening the ground work, 
and blend crosswise. Wipe out the lighter parts with sponge or cloth, 
then blend again, until softened, and put in the blazes through the 
center with the blaze stick. Now blend down the crude roughness of 
this lengthwise ; when dry, rub off the rough particles with a soft cloth 
and give a coat of thin varnish, a quick rubbing varnish being best. 

Next a. glaze, made by adding a trifle of asphaltum to the graining 
color and reducing it to a very thin consistency with ale or beer, is 
rubbed out well over the whole surface, and blended crosswise, then 



729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 167 

stippled with the blunder. When dry, the dark top grain is put on. 
To finish, a coat of hard drying coach varnish is flowed on with a thick 
badger brush. 

The style of grain varies, and it is best for the beginner to study the 
grain in the natural wood and imitate this as closely as possible. In 
panel work, crotching generally is resorted to; the cutter is used to 
take out the lights and the fine lines put in with the overgrainer, used 
almost in its normal condition without being broken up into teeth, the 
lines running in a wavy pattern across the panel, like the inverted 
letter V. 

— 409 — 

How Golden Oak Paste Filler Can Be Made. 

• » 

The effect in oak finishing, known as "golden," is not pro- 
duced by the filler alone ; in fact, the filler has very little to do with 
the result. The wood must be stained before it is filled, and of course, 
the filler must be so colored or stained as not to mar or dull the effect. 
A mixture of gold size japan and genuine asphaltum varnish in about 
equal parts, thinned with turpentine, makes a good stain that will not 
raise the grain of the wood, dries quickly and hard, and if wiped out 
properly, gives under varnish a rich effect, termed "golden," for want 
of another appropriate name. 

To make a filler, mix one-third each of raw linseed oil, japan gold 
size and turpentine, and put into this mixture enough finely powdered 
silica or silex to make a stiff paste, and color this with burnt umber in 
oil, Vandyke brown in oil and a trifle of drop black to suit, being mind- 
ful that in golden oak only the high lights are yellowish brown, while 
the filled grain is decidedly dark. The mixture should be run through 
a handmill. The best plan for you is to buy your golden oak paste 
filler, or at least buy the light paste filler and color it to suit your taste ; 
for you cannot buy the raw material as cheap as th^ manufacturer, and 
making it in a small way will cost you more in the long run. 

— 410 — 

Refinishing Yellow Pine in the Natural Efiect or with a Transparent 

Stain. 

One coat of liquid filler and two coats of varnish were used on yel- 
low pine ; but the work scaled in some places and powdered in others, 
while some places remained hard and intact. A method of doing the 
work over to obtain a uniform effect was desired. 

Liquid fillers are not made for such woods as yellow or 
Southern pine, and cannot withstand the sappy or resinous character 
of this wood. Shellac varnish is the only substance that should go 
next to it. The only remedy in this case is to take off all the varnish 
and filler clean down to the wood. Two parts of strong liquid ammonia 
and one part of turpentine applied with a sponge to soften varnish and 
filler and the use of a sharp scraper will remove the objectionable 
coating, and, this accomplished,, the surface should be washed down 
with clear spirits of turpentine or with vinegar and allowed to dry. 
Then if there are discolorations in the wood, a coat of orange shellac 



i68 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

varnish to which an alcoholic solution of turmeric and dragon's blood 
has been added, should be given, before any varnish or hard oil finish 
is applied. To make the coloring solution, put one ounce of turmeric 
powder into one pint alcohol, digest four days, shaking occasionally 
and strain for use. Also put one ounce dragon's blood into one pint 
of alcohol and dissolve like the other. Color the shellac first with the 
turmeric and alcoholic solution and add enough of the dragon's blood 
and alcoholic solution to give the proper depth; Try it first on a small 
scale to find out the proper proportions. This will save one cx)at of 
stain and will not obscure the grain of the wood. On top of this a 
coat or two of good hard oil finish will give a lasting and durable re- 
sult, unless the work is exposed, when spar varnish should be em- 
ployed in place of hard oil finish. 

— 411 — 

Finishing Whitewood and Birch in the Natural with a Wax Polish. 

The specifications called for the hall, dining room and bath room of a 
dwelling to be finished natural, using a certain brand of wax polish. 
The hall was whitewood, the other rooms birch veneering. The mak- 
ers of the wax polish said to use one coat of a certain preparation to en- 
liven the wood, one coat white shellac varnish and one coat of wax, 
rubbed on and polished. The painter, on trial, found this required an 
extraordinary amount of labor, yet did not make a satisfactory job. 
He thought the best method of finishing to produce the desired effect 
would be to give two coats of shellac varnish and one coat of rubbing 
varnish, rubbing the latter with pumice and oil and polishing with rot- 
ten stone and oil, and asked for advice. 

As a matter of fact, we believe, as you do, that a wax polish is not 
the proper thing to put on the woodwork of a bathroom, as it is too 
easily marred and does not stand contact with water, and, for that 
matter, does not suit well for the other room or the hall either. At any 
rate, one coat of shellac over an enlivener, and one coat of wax over 
this does not make a good finish. A first-class finish can only be ob- 
tained when the varnish has been rubbed, then polished with rotten 
stone and oil or water, and then lightly waxed. We would suggest 
that you give both whitewood and birch veneering two coats of white 
shellac varnish; when hard and dry, smooth sandpaper the surface, 
then rub with pumice and oil lightly, afid finally polish with rotten 
stone and use sweet oil, giving a dull finish. Or omit the polishing 
with rotten stone and use beeswax, dissolved in turpentine to a paste. 
In any case, polishing is tedious work and requires much labor and a 
great deal of patience. We may as well add, however, that the quick- 
est and safest method is to give one or two coats of shellac varnish, 
which are lightly sandpapered : then one coat of a good, pale rubbing 
varnish, which may be rubbed or haired down with F. F. pumice and 
oil or water, and then polished with rotten stone and oil, to either a 
dull or high finish, as the requirements may be. 

— 412 — 

Cause of the Peeling of Paint on New Spruce Timber. 

A Canadian painter wrote that in his locality paint would usually 
blister and peel in a year when applied to new spruce clapboards, but 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 169 

he has had jobs that stood several years, due, he believed, to the fact 
that he usually does not apply paint until after the woodwork had been 
up for several weeks. 

There is not any doubt whatever in our mind but that 
the blistering and peeling in so short a time is, to a great extent, caused 
by the condition of the timber to which the paint is. applied, yet, 
while it is a good idea to let the wood go unpainted for a time, we 
hardly think that a few weeks would be a great help toward seasoning, 
. except in very warm, dry weather. We are rather inclined to believe 
that the original seasoning of the timber has a great deal to do with 
the result, but above all, that you are using a better material for 
priming than the other painters, who have had such poor results. 
Green wood and moisture are the causes for blistering in oil paints, 
but poor priming is usually the cause for the flaking or peeling. 
Boiled oil or fatty oil should never be employed in mixing paint for 
priming coats, nor should ^inc pigments or ocher or other brittle earth 
paints be used to any extent. Pure white lead with lampblack, or 
pure white lead with a small portion of fine washed yellow ocher, 
thinned with pure raw linseed oil, a little tupentine and drier, make 
the best priming for new spruce clapboards. 

— 413 — 

Blended Colors and Clouded Effects. 

The tints are best laid side by side, graduating from dark to 
light or from light to dark, making the difference of each stripe as 
small as possible, and if proper distance be allowed for each stripe, 
there will be no dividing line, and blending will not be required. On 
the other hand, if it is necessary to have a marked difference in shade* 
the blender should be used, working the darker tints into the lighter 
ones. To do this properly requires practice; it cannot be described 
here how to handle the brush, but it is self-evident that the blending 
must be accomplished before the paint sets. Clouded effects are ob- 
tained by working one color into the other with a rotary motion, as, 
for instance, white into a sky-blue ground, leaving sharp outlines in 
the surface tint, but softening the effect by blending the white some- 
what into the blue or the lighter tint or color into the deeper one. 

— 414 — 

Hanging Burlap, Crepe and Buckram on Walls — ^Also Proper Paste 

for Same. 

You may run your hangings all the way up to the ceil- 
ing, if you relieve the monotony by placing a molding at about 16 to 18 
inches below the ceiling all around the room. The color of molding 
should strongly contrast with the color of your hangings, or you may 
run the fabric six or seven feet high, using a. figured paper above. The 
paste should consist of one pound of good glue dissolved in two gal- 
lons of water, into which put enough paste powder to make a stiff 
paste ; then add to the still warm pavSte two tablespoonfuls of Venice 
turpentine or Canada balsam and stir well. The paste powder con- 
sists of 84 parts, by weight, of wheat flour or starch ; 8 parts, by 
weight, of caustic soda, and 8 parts, by weight, of sulphate of am- 
monia. 



170 r39 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 415 — 

FUler for Yellow Pine. 

The only filler for -this wood is good, pure shellac varnish. 
Other substitutes will not answer, because there is too much sap in 
this timber. If good grain alcohol shellac is too expensive, use orange 
or brown shellac dissolved in wood alcohol, but do not substitute 
rosin for shellac. Every other filler will turn white or will eventually 
scale, taking the top coats of varnish with it. 

— 416 — 

Size for Aluminum Leaf on Wood. 

We presume what is wanted is a size to lay aluminum leaf 
on wooden signs or other objects. For exposed work we would 
recommend an oil size, composed of heavy boiled linseed oil, to which 
a little white lead is added. ' The oil must be stringy and have a good 
tack, as in oil gold size. If you cannot get such an oil, take ordinary 
boiled linseed oil, put in a shallow dish and heat it over a flame. When 
boiling, remove it from the flame, allow to cool and then return it, 
repeating this operation until the oil becomes thick like syrup; then 
set the oil on fire, let it burn about a minute and extinguish the flame 
with a close fitting lid. When cool, add the white lead and thin 
with a little turpentine. For a quick size use pale gold size japan and 
add enough white lead to take the yellowish color from the japan. 
Thin with a little turps. Proceed as you would in laying gold leaf in 
oil si!ze. 

— 417 — 

Polish for Restoring the Original Luster of Pianos. 

We know of only one method to polish piano cases, and that is to 
rub fine the finishing coat of varnish with rotten stone and water, using 
the palms of the hands in the operation, which removes all scratches 
and leaves a bright polish, which is completely finished by rubbing 
with oil. 

— 418 — 

Imitation of Cherry Wood by Graining. 

Follow the lines laid down in No. 408 on graining in imitation of 
mahogany, with the exception of making your ground of white lead,, 
tinted with burnt sienna, and for the graining, color raw and burnt 
sienna, equal parts, darkened with a little burnt umber, all ground in 
oil, thinned with turpentine and japan drier, if for exterior work. For 
inside work, use the same ground, but for the graining color take burnt 
sienna, ground in stale ale or beer, stipple with the brush, making as 
fine a grain as possil^le. Then wipe out the heart pieces, not too many, 
as cherry has but little grain. When dry, glaze with burnt sienna and 
a little burnt umber in stale ale, and when this is dry, give a flowing 
coat of good varnish. 



729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 171 

— 419 — 

Enameling the Rough Outside Surface of Cast Iron Bath Tubs. 

To produce a level surface you require an iron filler, such as is 
used on gas engines, of a color that is close to the finish you wish to 
apply. This filler must be of putty-like consistency, so that for very 
rough places you can apply it with a wide spatula, and thinning it 
somewhat with turps, like an iron safe plastler to less rough surface. ^ 
This filler must be of such a nature that when applied heavy it will 
show no cracks, and yet have enough binder so that it may be rubbed 
with pumice. It must also sandpaper freely in from six to eight hours. 
When the surface is so prepared, any good grade of engine enamel 
will stand the action of hot water very well, because the outside of 
a bath tub will never become as hot as the cylinder of an engine. 



— 420 — 
Strange Case of Paint Peeling from House and Barn. 

A house, built about ten years, had been painted three times. After 
the last' painting it peeled badly. The first time it was painted it re- 
ceived three coats of white lead and color ; the second time, two coats 
of red paint, and the third time two coats of light paint, which the 
painter said was pure lead and linseed oil. The trimming has always 
been cream color; it has peeled badly in places, while in other places 
it is badly cracked and furrowed. The bam, built four years, was 
painted twice, and is also peeling clean to the wood. As no red paint 
l^ad been used on the barn, the trouble cannot be attributed to it. 

The blistering and peeling of oil paints are caused, as a 
rule, by the same agencies, chief among which is moisture. Painting 
in damp or freezing weather will cause blistering and peeling. Green 
wood used in buildings, painting the exterior before the plaster inside 
of a frame dwelling has had time to dry out, may also be enumerated 
as among the causes that make paint peel or blister. 

It is, under the circumstances, a very difficult matter to form an 
opinion as to the real cause of the trouble, and we should advise you, 
before undertaking the job of repainting, to make a very thorough ex- 
amination of both house and barn, especially the gutters on roof and 
the nailing of the clapboards, if there are such ; in order to ascertain 
that moisture cannot get in behind your new paint and possibly throw 
it off also. We think it barely probable that the trouble is due to in- 
ferior paint material, as the number of coats on the barn was insuf- 
ficient to cause the paint to curl up by contraction of the outer coats 
and be thus thrown off. Nor would fatty or impure oil in the last 
paint cause the old paint to soften clean to the wood, and thus loosen 
the hold of all the coatings. We do not know of any paint remover 
that is as quick as the paint burner, and making as good a surface for 
repainting. 



172 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 421 — 
Paper Hangers' Paste for Porous or Spongy Walls. 

It was found impossible to make paper stick to some spongy walls, 
although glue, glue and sugar, glue, soap and alum, have all been used. 

If you have sized the walls, as ha3 been suggested re- 
peatedly in these columns, there must be something wrong with your 
paste or you may not have employed the proper kind of paste for the 
sort of paper used. We would suggest that if you have not already 
done so, you apply a glue size to the walls, after rubbing off with 
coarse sandpaper any roughness or sand that may show. On this size 
apply lining paper, which may be had at any wall paper store, or or- 
dinary thin wrapping paper; even newspaper will serve the purpose, 
using a good flour paste, made by making a batter of wheat flour and 
cold water, adding to this boiling water until the paste becomes nearly 
transparent. 

If the paste does not lose its opalescence with the boiling water, boil 
up under constant stirring over a slow fire until it does so. Do not 
thin the paste too much for lining paper and keep out alum, but in 
order to increase its adhesiveness, add a few ounces of Venice turpen- 
tine or Canada balsam to one gallon of paste, while hot. This paste, 
without the turpentine or balsam, will also answer for strong or heavy 
paper, that may be put over the lining, but for delicate papers we 
should suggest a paste made from wheat starch, which must be made 
by pouring boiling water under continued agitation on the starch until 
the paste assumes the appearance and consistency of lard. Another 
important point worthy of mentioning is that while hanging paper no 
draught should be allowed in the room or hall until the paper on every 
part of the wall or ceiling is apparently dry. Draught will dry the 
surface of the paper very rapidly, while the ground is still wet and 
cannot resist the contraction on the surface, which causes the paper 
to loosen in some spot and shortly after the balance follows. 

— 422 — 
Painting a Hot Water Tank of Iron in Imitation of Copper. 

We haven't had much experience along this line, but would 
say that two coats of paint, composed of a first-class baking 
varnish and pigment, each coat baked on the iron by heat, .would be 
fairly serviceable. If the color is to be a mere approach to copper, a 
mixture of a bright red with yellow and black, ground in and thinned 
with high grade baking varnish would serve the purpose. Or a good 
copper bronze, such as is used on steam radiators for pipes, mixed 
with such a varnish as described, might be even better. In this case, 
when the first coat has been baked on by the heat generated from the 
hot water in the tank, a second coat, before it has fully 
set, could be dry bronzed to enhance the brightness of the job. Still 
another, but more troublesome plan, is to take the solution of any salt 
of copper, such as blue stone (blue vitriol) for instance, and place in 
this pieces of scrap iron, which precipitates the metallic copper. This 
is collected on a filter, dried and mixed with a high grade baking 
varnish, and applied as suggested in the other methods. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 173 

— 423 — 

Preparation to Keep Sliding Windows and Shutters from Screeching. 

Make a lubricating soap by melting together three parts, 
by weight, of tallow, six parts, by weight, of palm oil, and three parts, 
by weight, of a 15 deg. solution of carbonate of soda. Apply to the 
parts that create the friction, be it the edges of windows or shutters or 
the sash ropes. 

— 424 — 
Flat Brick Red. 

We should advise you to buy your flat brick red from a reputable 
manufacturer, and thin it as per directions, when you will find that 
you have a good, flat job, well bound. If, however, you wish to mix 
the color yourself, would advise you to mix a good Venetian red in 
oil with yellow ocher in oil to prpduce the proper shade, then mix some 
dry bolted whiting in brown japan to a paste and add five pounds of 
this latter to every ten pounds of the former mixture, and thin the 
whole with turpentine to the consistency of a thin varnish. 

Test it for binding over any old painted surface, and if not strong 
enough, add a few tablespoonsful of spar varnish. 

But if the bricks have not been painted before, you must give two 
coats of oil paint before applying the flat brick red. We do not ap- 
prove of using varnish alone as a binder for flat brick colors, and 
would say the less varnish is introduced the better for wear and dura- 
bility. It should consist of pigment, linseed oil, japan and turpen- 
tine only and varnish should be added in very small doses only, when 
required as an additional binder. As in everything else, the ground 
work is the chief feature here, for if the suction of the bricks is not 
thoroughly stopped, the flat coat will soon go to pieces. 

— 425 — 

Gold Bronze in Place of Gold Leaf on Wagon Work. 

Inquiry was made in regard to gold bronze used for striping and 
ornamenting wagons that appeared to have stood as well as gold leaf. 

The gold bronze on the wagons you mention may derive its dura- 
bility from being pure gold bronze powder, which is made by grind- 
ing leaf gold with pure honey until the leaves are broken up and the 
mineral is finely divided. Then the mixture is removed from the stone 
slab with a spatula and placed in a porcelain dish containing clear 
water, which dissolves the honey and sets the powdered gold free. 
Let the gold settle and pour off the water, then add fresh water, re- 
peating the operation until all the honey is washed out; collect the 
gold on filtering paper and dry for use. 

This, of course, is a tedious process, and there are soijie very good 
gold bronzes to be had that will stand for years, the quality depend- 
ing much upon the price paid. If bought under a guarantee from 
responsible parties, good material can be procured. We have had 
pretty good results on exposed work with No. 6000 rich gold bronze 
powder, using best durable coach body varnish and pure turpentine 
as medium for striping and applying a coat extra pale coach varnish 
over it. In certain localities this has stood well for over three years ; 
in other less favored exposures, eighteen months and over. 



174 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 426 — 

Bronzing Picture Moldings. 

So far as we know, picture moldings formerly were bronzed by 
using a special varnish, from which all the acid features that might 
attack the bronze had been removed by treatment with caustic soda. 
But at the present time they use lacquers in imitation of bronze or 
where they still use gold or aluminum bronze they use a binder iden- 
tical with or similar to the banana liquid. This liquid is a solution of 
celluloid in amylacetate, and if you get the pure article you can de- 
pend upon its standing the weather very well and that it will not tar- 
nish good bronze powder. Whether it will stand water we cannot 
say, but we rather think it will do so, for a time at least. 

Brass lacquer of the proper sort, with spirit of wine as the medium, 
may be applied over gold bronze, but not for exterior work. 

— 427 — 

How Gum Shellac May Be Dissolved in Water. 

In a water bath dissolve two ounces of sal soda or one 
ounce powdered borax in one gallon of water, and when the soda or 
borax has dissolved and the water is boiling, put in your gum shellac, 
one pound, cover the kettle, §tir occasionally until the gum is thor- 
oughly dissolved. Sometimes it is necessary to use a larger portion 
of soda or borax to effect thorough solution. When the gum is dis- 
solving it will first rise to the top in the fornv of a scum^ but finally 
drops to the bottom again. The solution is complete when all the 
flakes or lumps have disappeared. It is best to have a larger and a 
smaller kettle set in one another, similar to those used in melting glue. 

— 428 — 

Hard Oil Finish Turning White and Perishing. 

Yellow pine casings and white pine doors were given a coat of 
sublac in place of filler, and two coats of hard oil. The owner bought 
the materials from a hardware house. Both sublac and hard oil were 
thinned with turpentine. A few months later the finish scaled, pow- 
dered and turned white and could. be readily removed by rubbing with 
the finger. 

If the sublac and hard oil were too stout to work prop- 
erly, thinning with turpentine was the correct method, but you may 
have overdone it and cut all the Ifie out of the varnishes. Still, that 
does not account for the turning white of the job, nor for its early per- 
ishing on interior work, which we assume it to have been. 

The hard oil finish certainly must have been of very inferiors qual- 
ity, most likely pure rosin varnish with but little oil for a binder. In 
that case, even if you had not reduced it with turpentine, it would 
not have lasted much longer. To rennedy the defect, the hard oil 
and sublac must be removed clean to the wood by either sandpaper- 
ing or the use of ammonia, and the bare wood given a coat of shellac 
varnish for the yellow pine and either shellac or liquid filler for the 
white pine doors, preferably shellac varnish for both casings and doors, 
to be followed by two coats of hard gum inside varnish or the very 
best hard oil. It will be of no use to put varnish on top of the perish- 
ing coats, such as you have described. 



729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 175 

— 429 — 

Painting a Storeroom Display Table in White. 

The display table in a clothing store was to be painted white. The 
painter used white lead thinned with equal parts boiled oil and tur- 
pentine, but the paint never dried hard and had to be removed. The 
store was cold, so the table was taken out in the open air, yet failed to 
dry hard. 

' If the table was in the raw wood, a coat of shellac var- 
nish should have been given to keep the sap in. On this a first coat 
of pure white lead thinned one part raw oil and three parts turps, to 
which some good pale japan should be added as a hardener. Next 
a coat of pure white lead in oil, thinned with turps only and a small 
portion of pale japan ; this coat, when dry, should be smoothly sand- 
papered and dusted. For a finishing coat, if a good, smooth white 
job is desired, zinc white ground in damar varnish, reduced to brush- 
ing consistency with a pale hard gum varnish and a little turpentine, 
should be applied, which, when hard, may be mossed or haired down 
with pumice and water to a dull finish. 

— 430 — 

How to Apply Luminous Paint to Glass. 

Some luminous paints are ground in and mixed with copal varnish ; 
some with heavy bodied linseed oil ; others with melted paraffine wax 
or japan wax and olive oil, and last, but not least, with silicate of soda. 
Your sense of smell will probably enable you to determine what is 
required for thinning. For use on glass, however, no other me- 
dium but wax will answer, and do not forget that in order to be lumi- 
nous the paint must be exposed to sunlight for a certain length of time, 
or at least to very strong light. It is too much trouble for th^ 
painter to prepare such paints, as he has neither the apparatus nor 
the required material at hand, or within easy reach. To 
prove this, we shall give a few formulas for their prepa- 
ration: Heat over a Bunsen burner for fifteen minutes 
a quantity of strontium thiosulphate, and after that for five minutes 
over a blast lamp. Or heat parts of strontium carbonate and lac sul- 
phuris gently for five minutes, then strongly for twenty-five minutes 
over a Bunsen burner, and finally for five minutes over a blast lamp. 
These two will yield a greenish light when mixed with pure melted 
paraffine wax. and applied to glass, but must be exposed to sunlight 
at least thirty minutes. 

To obtain a bluish light, precipitate a strong aquaic solution of stron- 
tium chloride with sulphuric acid ; dry the precipitate, and heat it to 
redness for some time in a current of hydrogen, then over a Bunsen 
lamp for ten minutes and over a blast lamjp for twenty minutes. 

— 431 — 

What Is Hydraulic Lime? 

Hydraulic lime is a species of lime that hardens under 
water or which can be used in making hydraulic cement. Portland 
and Roman cements as made in Europe are both hydraulic, and the 



176 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

Rosendale cement manufactured in the United States must also be 
classed in the same category. If limestone is ground in water, then 
dried and calcined at high heat, the resulting material is hydraulic 
lime, because it will harden, when mixed with water and also under 
water. Calcined chalk will also answer the purpose to a certain ex- 
tent, but will not become quite as hard as calcined limestone. 

— 432 — 
Lithopone — Its Value and Uses. 

Lithopone, or, as many term it, lithophone, is a sulphide 
of zinc white, similar to Charlton white, Griffith patent zinc white, and 
is imported from Continental Europe under the brands green seal, red 
seal, blue spal and yellow seal, each of these having a different body 
and value, but all being of similar composition. The green seal brand 
is generally the best quality and is composed of one part by weight 
of zinc sulphide apd two parts by weight of barytes, while the red seal 
brand consists usually of one part zinc sulphide and three parts bary- 
tes, the yellow seal and blue seal varieties contain a still greater per- 
centage of barytes, and in consequence are very deficient in body and 
color. 

Well made green seal lithopone approaches the body of the best 
French zinc very closely, and in certain classes of work it is far 
preferable. 

At any rate, it will distance the ordinary grades of American zinc 
white, because it does not require as large a portion of thinners and 
works mtich more freely. 

It is a first-class white for interior work, as it is unaffected by sul- 
phur gases and does not yellow off when properly thinned. The only 
objection to its use by painters is that it will not stand exposure to 
the rays of the sun, because under certain conditions it will blacken 
before the paint becomes dry and hard. If oils or driers containing 
lead or copper salts are used with lithopone whites they will surely 
turn gray or black in strong light, nor can these whites be tinted with 
colors that have a lead or copper base, while with all other colors they 
are unchangeable. Within the last few years numerous factories have 
been started in this country that manufacture these zinc sulphide 
whites under different names and with good success, the goods being 
used to replace white lead and zinc whites in many large industries. 

What Is Silica and for What Is It Used? 

Quartz is the purest form of silica (oxide of silicon) and 
occurs generally in granite rocks. It is ground fine in water and dried. 
The finest grades are marketed as floated silica or silex, and are much 
in demand for making wood fillers. The material being unaffected 
by sulphur gases, acids or alkalies, has been used to some extent in 
paints and is still used by some paint manufacturers in their so-called 
white lead in place of the heavier barytes. We do not advocate its 
use in paint because we consider it a very brittle mineral, but as a 
wood filler it has no equal when properly prepared, especially in point 
of fineness and purity. The material is a difficult one to hold in sus- 
pension in oil, and on settling cakes very hard. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 177 

— 434 — 

Best Size for Gilding on Glass. 

Dissolve one-quarter ounce of gum arable in one quart 
of boiling water. It must be rain water or soft river water, and while 
still warm filter into a clean bottle through blotting paper or several 
thicknesses of filtering paper, and when cold add one tablespoonful 
of pure grain alcohol or rectified whisky. Allow to stand a few days 
before using, and if well corked it will keep for years. To clean off 
surplus gold after backing up, wash off with clean water. Should the 
gold refuse to come off readily, add a little naphtha to the rinsing 
water. 

— 435 — 

Best Method for Making Brick Walls Moisture or Water-Proof. 

In the line of paint, we have had the best success by fol- 
lowing this method : All dampness must be allowed to dry up as much 
as possible, then one coat of boiled linseed oil of good body is given 
and all joints and holes puttied up with pure linseed oil and whiting 
putty, colored with fine brick dust or Venetian red. This dry and 
hard, a coat of Venetian red, thinned with equal parts of boiled linseed 
oil and turpentine, is applied, and finally a third coat of red oxide or 
Venetian red, thinned with good raw linseed oil and some good oil 
drier, is applied as a finish. Or the color may be changed from a red 
to any desirable tint, using white lead as the base, tinting with oil 
color to suit. 

The first coat should always be either all oil, or at least contain 
but little pigment, the second coat half flat and the last coat full gloss, 
and less than three coats will be insufficient. It is best to vary the 
color of the coats somewhat, so that laps or holidays may be readily 
noticed. In our opinion, such impregnation of the walls, though of 
higher cost, is superior to rough cement plastering. 

— 436 — 

Killing Knots on the Exterior of Frame Houses. 

Wood alcohol white shellac was used to cover knots on the outside 
of frame houses, but after a year or so they came through. Sometimes- 
the balance of the work is fine and glossy, the knots only looking dull 
and fiat. 

We do not think the trouble is caused by the wood alco- 
hol shellac, as we have used pure grain alcohol shellac made by our- 
selves and used on interior, as well as exterior work, with similar 
results. Whenever there was only two coats of paint of light color 
applied, the knots would begin to show up inside of a year. Bleached 
or white shellac has but little strength in comparison with orange shel- 
lac or brown shellac, yet neither of these can be employed under light 
tints. White shellac varnish, too, is sometimes manipulated with 
water white rosin, which makes it still less resistant. The following 
method of neutralizing pine knots has been imparted to us by an old 
experienced painter, who claims to have had very good results from it : 



178 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

Mix equal parts by measure of finely powdered red lead, white lead 
and bolted whiting with one-third each of raw linseed oil, coach japan 
and turps, strain and apply to the knots before priming. 

— 437 — 

Best Backing for Gold Leaf on Glass. 

Genuine asphaltum in oil, such as is sold in tubes for 
artists' use, is the very best material for backing up gold leaf on glass 
signs. The commercial asphaltum varnish will not answer. If the 
former cannot be readily obtained, mix lampblack, ground in japan 
with a high grade outside or coach varnish, first cutting the lamcpblack 
with some turpentine. 

— 438 — 
Formula for Staining Oak Black. 

If you desire to effect an imitation of ebony by staining 
oak, we will furnish you with the following : The wood is immersed 
for forty-eight hours in a hot, saturated solution of alum and then 
brushed over several times with a decoction of logwood made as fol- 
lows : Boil one pound of best rasped logwood in ten pounds of water, 
filter through linen and with gentle heat evaporate so much of the 
liquid until it is reduced to five pounds. To this add twenty or thirty 
drops of a saturated solution of indigo, completely neutral. After ap- 
plying this dye to the wood, rub the latter with a saturated and fil- 
tered solution of verdigris in hot, concentrated acetic acid, and repeat 
the operation until a black of the desired intensity is obtained. It is 
asserted that when oak is thus treated it makes a very handsome and 
close imitation of ebony. 

While this method of ebonizing oak is very durable and effective, 
because deeply penetrating, it is also time robbing and expensive in 
the end, and we believe that cheap work is done by simply staining 
the wood with aniline black that is soluble in oil and naphtha, and 
filling the same with a black filler. When the surface is thus smoothed 
a coat of flat ivory black is applied, then varnished and polished. In 
some cases a black lacquer is employed, of which two or three coats 
are given, and then the varnish for polishing. So-called flat black lac- 
quers that dry almost as quickly as shellac varnish are in the market, 
and recommended for this very purpose. 

— 439 — 

Paint for Hot Steam Pipes and Radiators. 

Radiator paints are usually made very similar to baking 
enamels and consist of pigments and fatty varnishes that bake on the 
metal by the aid of the heat in the pipes. To suit well for the work 
the pigments must be ground in varnish to the utmost degree of fine- 
ness and thinned with a special varnish to proper consistency for free 
application. If the architect objects to linseed oil, he might equally 
object to painting the radiators at all, unless he specified that the 
same be lacquered or done in dry bronze. Even in that case a binder 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 179 

IS required to hold the bronze on to the metal, though it would not 
mean such a heavy coating as in the case of solid painting. 

In mixing paints for steam radiators do not use oil colors, nor add 
linseed or any other oil, raw or boiled, |jut use colors ground for coach 
work, and thin with good, free working baking varnish, so that the 
paint will no more than just cover. In this way you will have no blis- 
tering, and the gloss will be retained. Use a bright red of good bulk, 
ground in varnish, for your hot steam pipes, and thin to the fullest 
extent with a good pale baking varnish, and the gloss will be more 
permanent. 

— 440 — 

Black Ash Stain in Water or Spirit. 

Boil three pounds extract of logwood, one pound concen- 
trated lye and one gallon of water until all is dissolved, then strain. 
May be applied either hot or cold. If not dark enough, when dry, go 
over the work with a solution of strong vinegar and iron. 

For quick work, dissolve extract of logwood in wood alcohol to the 
desired strength, strain and apply. To intensify the stain, go over the 
work with a tincture of muriate of iron. 

— 441 — 
Repainting a Ceiling in Water Color. 

A church was decorated nearly fifty years ago in flat paint, imita- 
tions of plaster moldings, etc., quite dark tints. Light tints now being 
wanted, the question was asked which was the best method to pursue : 
To give a coat pf flat white and tint on that, or to give a coat of glue, 
whiting and alum size and tint on that. One coat will not cover the 
old work, especially after all the cracks are cut out and plastered up. 

We fully agree with you on the last paragraph, and are 
afraid that you will not get along even with a coat of flat white, espe- 
cially if you have water stains to cover over. Would advise you to 
size all the new plaster in the cut-out cracks and apply one coat of 
white lead tinted to the color of the lightest tint you intend to apply 
in the finish, and thin with turpentine only to make it dry flat. This 
will be safer than the coat of glue, whiting and alum, because the ceil- 
ing in this case is not a new one, where the priming can get a hold 
on the plaster. Aside from the risk of peeling, you will have better 
covering from the tinted white lead coat. 

— 443 — 

Glazing Aluminum Leaf to Obtain a Golden Effect. 

Raw sienna is not transparent enough for a glaze on leaf, 
and Dutch pink is out of the question altogether. Procure some high 
grade French yellow lake, ground in varnish, and thin same as you 
would French carmine for glazing with as little turpentine and as 
much pale coach varnish as possible, and you will get the desired 
effect. 

We recommend French yellow lake especially, because we know it 
to be more permanent and safer than gamboge, turmeric or dragon's 
blood, although a mixture of the last two would give a richer effect in 
the outset. 



i8o 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 443 — 

Hardening Glue and Quickening the Drying of Plaster Paris. 

Mix some finely powdered brick dust with your glue, and 
you will find it harden quicker hi the ratio of proportion of dust added* 

Mix your plaster with water in which you have previously dissolved 
gum arabic in the proportion of one ounce of gum to each pint of 
water. 

— 444 — 

Putty for Glazing Sash of Cast Iron. 

Pure linseed oil and whiting patty, mixed with some dry 
white lead and a little japan, thoroughly kneaded, is the best material. 
Or, if you have any oil paint skins about the shop, run them through 
a paint mill until fairly fine, then mix with bolted whiting fairly stiff 
and pound with a mallet or knead very thoroughly. But before put- 
ting in your glass prime the sash with good paint, half flat. 

— 445 — 

Deadening and Perishing of Oil in Exposed Places. 

In the summer, the outside of a frame house that had previously 
been painted a salmon color, was painted pea green, using white lead 
tinted with Imperial green in oil, thinned with boiled oil and turpen- 
tine. Four months later the paint could be rubbed off with the hand,, 
except in places where the sun did not strike it. 

We believe that, in the first place, the exposed portions 
of the old painted surface were more dry than were those where the 
sun did not strike and in consequence absorbed more of the oil from 
your fresh paint. In the second place, you should not have used any 
turpentine in repainting old work in summer, as the liquid drier, which 
you have no doubt used in the paint, has enough volatile oil, such as 
turps or benzine, in its makeup, and, lastly, your boiled oil may not 
have been of the best quality. We should advise you to examine con- 
ditions of old painted surfaces very critically in the future before be- 
ginning repainting, and call your patron's attention to the same when 
you are not certain of your ability to produce good wearing effects 
with the specified number of coats. Also to let boiled oil alone, unless 
you are certain of procuring kettle boiled linseed oil of good body 
and unquestioned purity. Use pure raw linseed oil instead. 

— 446 — 

To Keep Dry Bronze from Sticking to Glass and Japanned Tin. 

Trouble was experienced from the sticking of aluminum bronze on 
glass and japanned tin signs. The letters were painted with a liquid 
made from spar varnish, japan and white lead. When the size became 
tacky the bronze was dusted on, but the surplus bronze was difficult to- 
clean off. 

See that your glass and japanned tin is thoroughly dry, 
and dust all over the surface before applying the size some finely 
powdered talc or chalk, which may be dusted off when the bronze oiv 
letters or stripes has become adhesive, and in dusting the bronze or 
gold will come off with the talc or chalk. 



7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. i8i 

— 447 — 

Pure White Lead Paint Scaling on Yellow or Southern Pine. 

The following test was made with pure white lead on panels of 
hard pine that was very sappy. One piece was painted two coats, the 
lead being thinned with raw oil ; second piece with nine parts raw oil 
and one part turps, raw oil only being used in the third coat ; ^ third 
piece was the same as the second, except that coal oil was substituted 
for turpentine. The panels were laid on a tin roof for some time 
and afterward nailed on the south side of a shed. The second and 
third tests scaled badly before the first began to scale. 

We rather think that the term scaling is misapplied here 
and that the paints peeled, or^ in other words, were thrown off by the 
drawing of the sap out of the wood by the heat of the sun.' In paint- 
ing yellow pine the first coat of paint should be made very thin and 
moderate use of turpentine is hot objectionable, but rather beneficial, 
inasmuch as the paint has a better opportunity to penetrate. 

But in no case should coal oil be used, as it prevents the hardening 
of the priming coat and, incidentally, subsequent coats. The prim- 
ing or first coat on yellow pine should be given plenty of time to dry 
thoroughly and hard before the next coat is put on. 

— 448 — 

How to Prepare Paper Hangers' Paste That Will Not Liquefy, 

The best method is to take sifted wheat flour, and beat it up in* cold 
water to a stiff batter. When all the lumps are beaten out of it, add 
enough cold water to make it similar to pudding batter. Then while 
stirring pour in a little hot water first, and, after a minute or so, pour 
in the hot water faster, and stir until the paste swells and thickens and 
becomes darker. Pour a little cold water on top to keep from skim- 
ming over while cooling. Four pounds of flour should make about 
six to seven quarts of paste. 

— 449 — 

Pine Oil as a Substitute for Linseed Oil in Roof Painting. 

The question was asked whether pine oil mixed with fireproof min- 
eral would make a good paint for roofs. 

When you mention pine oil we are not certain whether 
you mean liquid pine tar or rosin oil. For shingle roofs either of these 
can be used for thinning metallic paste paints that are ground in lin- 
seed oil, but the use of rosin oil in any great portion will not give 
good wear, because when paint mixed with rosin oil is apparently 
dry it becomes soft again and alternately harderis and becomes soft 
and tacky, until it is destroyed by the action of the sun and rainstorms, 
powders and is finally washed off. If you do not guarantee the work, 
you can use about two-thirds rosin oil to one-third linseed oil for this 
work. As rosin oil is rather heavyan body, the paint may be cut with 
benzine. 

If you have liquid pine tar in view, you cannot use it straight, but 
your metallic paste should be first thinned with a cheap lightning 
drier to proper consistency for brushing and then sufficient pine tar 



i82 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

added to produce a free working paint. We, however, do not assume 
any responsibility for the foregoing, only suggesting what may be 
done in the way of cheap roof painting, always believing tbat ortho- 
dox paint materials are cheapest in the end, no matter what first cost 
may be. 

Where bright color is not required, you can make a cheap and fairly 
durable roof paint by mixing in the cold way lo gallons each of coal 
tar, pine tar and benzine, with lo pounds well-sifted, air-slaked lime 
and the necessary mineral red or brown pigment. 

— 450 — 

Paint Peeling Off to the Plastex on the Wall of a Kitchen. 

The old kalsomine was washed from the walls of a kitchen by the 
owner, not particularly clean, but fairly well. The priming was prob- 
ably too flat ; then one coat of size was given to insure gloss ; the sec- 
ond and last coat was probably too oily. The paint was mixed from 
best lead and oil, but it peeled off in spots. 

From your description of the method pursued in paint- 
ing that wall we should say that as the paint peeled off in spots clean 
down to the plaster it is evident that all of the old kalsomine was not 
removed; also that your priming coat was not oily enough and not 
adhesive to a sufficient degree to resist contraction of the size and that 
the size shrunk under the oily finishing coat, pulling away the flat 
priming in such spots where th^ loose kalsomine still remained on the 
wall or where there may have been some greasy spots on the walls. 
You could have ascertained this if you had closely examined the shreds 
of paint that peeled off on the under side. The priming for a wall, 
new or old, that has never been painted in oil before should always 
carry enough oil to allow for suction, and the size should not be too 
strong. 

Many painters, in painting new walls, use a cheap varnish, com- 
monly known as wall sizing or suction varnish, but we prefer to give 
the bare wall a priming coat of pure white lead, using not more than 
six pounds to seven pounds of raw linseed oil and one pint of tur- 
pentine, and brushing this in well. When this is dry, a coat of glue 
size should be given, which will answer for two coats of paint. On 
top of this give as many coats as are required for the finish desired. 
We would not advocate the use of the mixture you speak of. 

— 451 — 

How to Obtain a Clear, Burnished Gold Letter on Glass. 

Whatever dust ' may come with a book of gold will not 
show between the letter and the glass. In the first place, good 
work cannot be done on poor glass, for upon the purity of the glass 
depends the greater part of the brilliancy of the work. Clean the 
glass perfectly with whiting and water and polish the working side 
with finest tissue paper. Apply the size freely with a clean camel's 
hair spalter and with the tip throw on your leaf, then set your glass 
up edgewise, if you have had it in horizontal position. When dry, 
take refined cotton and rub the leaf briskly until luster is obtained. 



729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 183 

Do not mind if you rub most of the gold away, the luster is there. 
Then apply a second coat of leaf, as you did the first, and when dry 
go over it again with cotton, this time lightly, and wash it with sizing 
repeatedly to obtain a spotless surface. After the design has been 
pointed out, wash off the surplus gold with water until nothing re- 
mains on the glass but the gilded letters or design. Always have the 
glass in a vertical position to permit the water to drain off thoroughly. 

— 453 — 

Sweating of Hard Oil Finish on Interior Woodwork. 

A new house in the South had the interior woodwork of Georgia pine 
finished with hard oil. The walls were plastered, the work being fin- 
ished two weeks before the varnishing was done, and the palster ap- 
parently being dry. The hearth was cemented and very damp. While 
the varnish was applied the weather was fine and the wood dried 
nicely, but a few days later the weather was warm and rainy and the 
atmosphere in the closed up house was very damp. The varnish began 
to sweat so badly that on the doors, window casings and sills the drops 
stood out, while on the mantels it came down in streaks. 

The trouble in this case is caused by moisture and lack 
of ventilation, and not by any fault in the varnish. There was a com- 
bination of conditions, every one of which tended to assist in bring- 
ing about the so-called "sweating" of the hard oil finish. Though the 
plaster may have appeared to be dry, it was not so by any means, but 
only hard, and no doubt still contained some moisture, which was 
given off to the atmosphere in the rooms. The woodwork was prob- 
ably not well seasoned and the rooms being closed the moisture set- 
tled upon the varnished surface, where it could be most plainly seen. 
The only remedy in such a case is the heating of the rooms and ad- 
mission of air. 

— 453 — 

Oil Stain for Birch in Imitation of Mahogany, and Black Stain for 

Oak. 

To give a rich mahogany color to birch wood and show 
up the grain well, mix three pounds of rose pink in oil and one pound 
of a deep burnt sienna in oil, with one quart best brawn japan, one 
quart of boiled linseed oil and two or three quarts of turpentine. If 
not dark enough, add one pint best turpentine, asphaltum varnish, 
and if not rich enough add some rich red lake to the mixture in suffi- 
cient quantity to give the desired effect. Have the stain as thin as 
possible so as to penetrate deeply into the wood. To stain oak very 
dark, mix three pounds of burnt umber in oil and one pound of a good 
drop black in oil with one quart of best brown japan, one quart of 
boiled oil and one gallon or more of turpentine, and for staining oak 
black, mix three pounds of a good drop black in oil that is not blued 
with a similar quantity of best brown japan, boiled oil and turpentine, 
as is described for the previous formula. 



i84 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

— 454 — 

Best Way to Clean a Stippling Brush. 

Wash the brush in the usual way in benzine or gasoline, 
dipping it into the fluid bristles down, repeating this until the bristles 
appear clean, then take the end of the handle between the palm of both 
hands, twirling the brush rapidly so as to get out all the liquid pos- 
sible. Do not wipe off the brush on the edge of the pot, as many do, 
as this method ruins the shape of the brush. After the brush has been 
cleaned in benzine or gasoline, dissolve a piece of washing soda the 
size of a walnut in a quart of warm (not hot) water, and repeat the 
operation, taking care to get a little water on the back and handle of 
brush. When the bristles appear thoronghly clean, wipe off the back 
and handle with a dry cloth, but do not touch the bristles, and set the 
brush in the sun or near the fire to dry. Wiping softens the bristles 
and so does the use of soap or soapsuds. 

— 455 — 

What Is Stucco Composed of? 

The best stucco is said to be composed of plaster of paris 
(calcined gypsum) that has been steeped in a saturated solution of 
alum and recalcined, then reduced to a powder. For use as a stucco, 
it is mixed with water, same as the ordinary plaster of paris. 

— 456 — 

A Simple Method for the Detection of Mineral Oil in Linseed Oil. 

Keep in your shop a strip of clear window glass, say about 
3 by 8 inches, coated on one side with several coats of lamp- 
black; also keep in a well-stoppered bottle a sample of raw linseed 
oil that is unquestionably pure. Keep the oil in a dark place, so as to 
hold its original color; otherwise it will bleach from the effect of 
strong light. Place a few drops of the suspected oil on the unpainted 
side of the glass, and alongside of that a few drops of the pure oil, and 
if the suspected article contains only 5 per cent, of mineral oil it will 
be plainly noted by the bluish cast (usually termed bloom) of the 
specimen. Your suspected oil may contain a good portion of cotton- 
seed oil, which at present is somewhat lower in price than linseed. 
Td test for the presence of cottonseed oil, make a freezing mixture of 
ice and salt, and insert into this a small bottle or test tube containing 
some of the suspected oil. Linseed oil freezes only at a temperature 
of 18 deg. F. below zero, while cottonseed oil freezes at 28 ^eg, above 
zero. When the suspected article, after remaining in the freezing 
mixture for thirty minutes, assumes butterlike consistency it is either 
all or nearly all cottonseed oil, if only somewhat coagulated the per- 
centage of cottonseed oil is probably one-third or one-half, but if the 
oil is unaffected and merely becomes cloudy it may be pure linseed 
oil containing a very small percentage of moisture. Fish oil also 
freezes very readily at 30 deg. F. above zero, but its presence is easily 
detected by its odor. At all events, you should view with suspicion 
any linseed oil that is offered you below current market rates. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 185 

— 457 — 

Gold Bronze for Old Picture Frames that Will Not Tarnish. 

The question was asked why the following method of refinishing old 
picture frames in gold did not prove satisfactory. The old gilding was 
washed with ammonia water, and after they were dry, a coat of japan 
gold size was applied. When this had a good tack, dry bronze was ap- 
plied and a good burnish obtained, but in a short time the gilding tarn- 
ished and the luster was very dull. 

The reason for tarnishing and loss of luster in your bronze may be 
due to two causes — either your bronze is not of good quality or your 
gold size japan reacted on the alloy. 

Gold size japan contains, as a rule, a good portion'of lead oxide, 
which may have had a bad effect on your bronze or your bronze was 
not of good quality. 

We would suggest that you employ the so-called French gold bronze 
that is made from gold leaf and do your bronzing in the wet state, 
using as a medium the japan lacquer, known to the trade under the 
name of banana oil, a clear liquid of quick drying and binding prop- 
erties, which does not affect the color or luster of the bronze, but 
rather protects the same. 

— 458 — 

How to Make a First-Class Job in Painting a Brick Wall. 

If the walls are to be painted in red, prime or first coat 
them with a good Venetian red that is ground in linseed oil, thinned 
with raw linseed oil and a little good oil drier. Rub this prime in well 
and after drying putty up the joints with a good linseed oil and whit- 
ing putty that has been colored with Venetian red. The priming coat 
should not weigh over ten pounds to the United States gallon. 

For second coat, mix one-fourth pure white lead in oil with three- 
fourths Venetian red in oil, and thin with two parts raw linseed oil and 
one part of turpentine, adding a good oil drier as required. Brush 
this coat out well and uniformly, and it will give body to the job. 
Vox the third and last coat, mix a first-class Venetian red in oil with 
pure boiled linseed oil of good body and a little good oil drier, flow- 
ing it on, but in such a way that it will not run. This is for a gloss 
finish. For a flat brick red effect- prime and putty up in similar man- 
ner, and apply the second coat with three-fourths oil and one-fourth 
turps, while for the finish we should advise you to use flat brick red 
paste, thinning with turpentine. If you cannot obtain a good flat 
brick red, prepare it by thinning stiff ground Venetian red with best 
brown japan and turpentine, making the paint very .thin. Should the 
paint be a little glossy, it will become flat enough after a few weeks. 

If other color than red, as, for instance, buff or greenish tints, are 
desired, use pure white lead, thinned with raw linseed oil and a little 
drier for priming, holding it thin, say about ten pounds keg lead to 
three quarts of oil, and when dry putty up. For second coat use ten 
pounds keg lead to three pints raw oil and one pint turpentine, adding 
a little drier. Tints on brick walls are usually held in gloss finish, 
therefore we should recom;mend the use of three parts keg lead and 



. i86 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

one part zinc white in oil, adding the necessary tinting colors and 
thinning with raw linseed oil and the required drier for the finishing 
coat. Less than three coats will not make a good job, and in order 
to have the paint wear well would suggest that you do not begin to 
paint until there has been at least one week of dry weather, so that 
the moisture is fairly well out of the bricks; otherwise you run the 
risk of having your paint scaling. 

— 459 — 

Durability of Shellac Varnish as First Coat Under Oil Paint or Fin- 
ishing Varnish on Exterior Work. 

Good grain alcohol shellac varnish can be classed as in- 
dispensable for a first coating for hard pine, and you need not trouble 
yourself as to its standing under subsequent coats of paint or var- 
nish. Good shellac varnish stands exposure to the weather very well 
by itself, excepting in the presence of moisture, so that when it is pro- 
tected by one or more coats of oil paint or oil varnish it is a pretty 
safe first coater for hard pine and other resinous woods, acting as a 
sealer to keep in the sap to a great extent. Of course, no one would 
think of applying more than one coat of the expensive shellac varnish 
to exterior woodwork or to use the same for finishing. That it is not 
used more extensively is no doubt due to its cost and not because of 
the fear of its not standing exposure to the ordinary conditions of 
weather. 

— 460 — 

Vehicle for Aluminum Bronze Paint. 

The so-called "banana oil'' is not the only medium for 
mixing with aluminum bronze, but it is about the best medium for 
exterior bronzing, because, in spite of its quick drying, it retains its 
elasticity under severe exposure and has no discoloring eflFect upon 
the bronze. A good hard gum varnish that is fairly pale, reduced with 
spirits of turpentine to good flowing consistency, will also serve as a 
good medium for aluminum bronze for exposed work, especially for 
ornamental sign work. For inside bronzing, where banana oil is un- 
desirable because of its odor, any good copal varnish, reduced with tur- 
pentine or benzine, will serve as bronzing liquid, providing it does not 
diminish the luster of the bronze perceptibly. 

— 461 — 

Repainting Canoes from Which the Paint Is Abrased. 

' The best way to obtain good results is to remove the 
paint still remaining clean to the wood ,either by burning ofl: or by 
a.pplying the following: Slake 15 pounds of quick stone lime in water^ 
and when fully slaked add 5 pounds of American pearlash, making 
the mixture of the consistency of semi-paste paint. Lay this fairly 
thick on the paint, let it remain until the old paint is softened clean 
down to the wood and scrape oflF, then wash with water and vinegar^ 
equal parts, and allow the surface to dry thoroughly before attempt- 
ing to repaint. Sandpaper the places where the grain of the wood 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 187 

may have been raised by the action of the lime and pearlash mixture. 
In repainting do not hold your priming or first coat too oily, but 
temper it to suit the nature of the wood, or, best, use equal parts raw 
linseed oil and turpentine, and if any puttying is to be done, do it 
after the priming has dried and use good linseed oil, lead and whiting 
putty. As less than three coats will not make a good job, would sug- 
gest that the second coat be held so as to dry with no higher than 
eggshell gloss, and if high grade of work is desired, regardless of cost, 
would recommend the adding of a first-class spar varnish to the oil 
paint for third coat. Remember that too liberal a dose of oil in paint 
for boats is liable to cause peeling or blistering, and mix your paint 
for the various coats accordingly. 

— 462 — 

Silvering Glass Without Heat Again. 

In using the method given in No. 391, it was found that in putting 
the glass in, a black deposit is formed which is easily rubbed off. 
• Would an excess of ammonia cause this? In mixing, the ammonia 
was not added drop by drop, but a little poured in at a time. 

We do not think that it is necessary to add the ammonia 
drop by drop, but the silver solution and ammonia must be mixed 
proportionately, a little at a time, until the silver solution is exhausted, 
when the mixture must be filtered. It may be that the pan was not 
well enough coated or that the nitrate of silver was not pure, and as 
the rochelle salts act as the binder the cause of the silver rubbing 
off so readily may be found in a lack of strength in the salt solution. 
Try again, following the instructions carefully, using pure nitrate of 
silver and the strongest commercial ammonia and vbe careful to have 
the tin pan well coated, so that the silvering mixture cannot possibly 
come into contact with the tin. 

— 463 — 

Size for Aluminum Bronze. 

For interior work you can reduce any good copal or coach 
varnish with pure turps or benzine, using one gill of either of these 
solvents to one-half pint of varnish. Apply the size to the object, and 
when it has set with a fair tack dust on your dry bronze, and in a short 
time rub off the excess of powder with a pad of cotton. 

This will produce good luster, provided you use bronze of hijEjh 
grade. The same liquid may be employed for wet bronzing, but it 
should be more dilute for such purpose, say equal parts varnish and 
solvent. 

— 464 — 

Painting the Interior of an Iron Roof with Cork Paint. 

The specifications called for one coat of paint, then a layer of cork 
and a final coat of paint. 

We have very little experience along this line, and can only 
make suggestions as they occur to us. The cork must, of neces- 
sity, be in a fairly fine powder, the first coat of paint must be stout 
and oily, so that enough of the cork will adhere to make a uniform 



i88 7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

coating. We should think it best to coat a small space at a time, 
spread a cloth under this space to catch the excess o£ cork when it is 
thrown on the wet paint, and also to catch the surplus that is brushed 
off when the paint has dried, so that it will not interfere with the sec- 
ond coat of paint. The surest way to have the work uniform would 
be to use a good priming coat of red lead, and follow this with a min- 
eral paint, into which the maximum quantity of pulverized cork has 
been introduced, brushing it on heavy. This would cost considerably 
less and save a great deal of time and annoyance, and serve the pur- 
pose equally as well. 

— 465 — 

Proper Proportions of White Lead and Zinc to Insure Good Wear on 

Exterior Surface. 

The opinions of experts vary in this respect, but as the 
variation of the proportions by those of longest experience and high- 
est reputation among the fraternity are limited between 75 per cent, 
white lead and 25 per cent, zinc white and 85 per cent, white lead and 
15 per cent, zinc white, we may say that a safe proportion in locali- 
ties named by you would be 80 per cent, pure white lead in oil and 20 
per cent, zinc white in oil ; while in salt atmosphere, as, for instance, 
along the seaboard, a combination of two-thirds white lead in oil by 
weight and one-third zinc white in oil by weight, for all but the prim- 
ing coat, would be proper, the priming coat to be pure white lead in 
oil only. This, of course, refers to jobs in pure white or delicate tints 
only. For strong tints, where such a color as yellow ocher, for in- 
stance, is used in large proportions, it is unwise to use zinc white at 
all, because ocher is really a brittle material that will correct any 
chalking tendency the white lead may have. On the other hand, take 
a tint like Colonial yellow, that is made from white lead and chrome 
yellow, 10 to 15 per cent, of zinc white will not be out of proportion. 
The painter should make his combinations of lead and zinc to suit 
the tinting colors required to produce the stronger or dark tints, as a 
great deal really depends upon their properties. It goes without say- 
ing, however, that in the chalking of white lead paint and in the crack- 
ing or peeling of zinc white paint, the thinners and driers emploj'ed 
exercise quite an important part. 

— 466 — 

How to Prepare and Apply a Good Flat Black for Grille Work. 

Such a flat black is best made by thinning a good drop 
black in japan, such as is used by coach painters, with turpentine to 
a consistency almost as thin as liquid drier and adding enough of a 
good coach varnish to give the required binder, but not enough to 
produce even a faint gloss on drying. As such a paint dries very 
quickly, proper thinning and required quantity of varnish may be read- 
ily ascertained by applying a little of the mixture to a piece of hoop 
iron or black sheet iron, and on drying it can be tested by rubbing 
over it with the point of the finger. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 189 

For inside work, part or all benzine may be substituted for turpen- 
tine in thinning the black. A soft, flat brush of suitable size should 
be used for applying the paint and the brush dipped into the paint 
lightly only to prevent running over the edges and clogging in the 
corners. Whether one or two coats should be applied on inside work 
depends on the nature of the job and the price paid, but j*eal good work 
cannot be done with one coat. 

For handrails and exposed iron work that is to be finished flat, we 
would recommend a first coat of drop black in oil or varnish, that will 
dry hard with good gloss and finish with a flat black as above, but use 
no benzine for thinning. 

The idea of finishing in flat black is to hide any imperfections or 
tool marks in the iron that would show up in gloss finish. 

— 467 — 

Stamp Ink for Rubber Stamps. 

The following recipes have been published several years ago- 
in the Scientific American, and while we have not tried them, we 
think the inks made on these lines very good. It will not cost you 
much to make the experiment. 

Blue Rubber Stamp Ink. — Mix 3 parts by weight of aniline blue, 
water soluble iB with 10 parts by weight of distilled water and tri- 
turate in a mortar, and add gradually 70 parts by weight of glycerine. 
When a solution is effected, add 10 parts alcohol and 10 parts pyro- 
Mgneous acid, also by weight. Stir well and bottle. 

Other colors can be made by substituting for the blue the following: 

For Parts by weight. 

Red : Methyl violet, 3B 3 

Scarlet : Diamond f uchsin, 1 2 

Green : Methyl green, yellowish 4 

Brown : Vesuvian B 5 

Black : Nigrosin W (blue black) 4 

For a bright red, three parts eosine BBN are used, but in this case 
the pyroligneous acid must be omitted or else the color will be de- 
stroyed. All other aniline colors, when used for stamping ink, must be 
acidulated. 

For stamping linen or cotton in black, dissolve one ounce of asphal- 
tum in four ounces of turpentine and add enough calcined lampblack 
to make the ink of the right consistency for printing with type. 

— 468 — 
Unshrinkable Molding Cement. 

A formula was asked for a cement for molding small objects that re- 
quire delicately fine lines of cast, such as engraved plates. It must be 
unshrinkable, harden quickly and resist pressure of heat. 

For this purpose there is none better than Jannin's ce- 
ment, so named after the patentee, a resident of France. It is simrply 
a mixture of oxide of lead and glycerine, in suitable proportions to 
meet requirements. The yellow oxide of lead, known as massicot, is 
said to be most suitable, although other metallic oxides may be mixed 



190 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

with this in small quantities to suit the nature of the work in color. 
The quantity of massicot and glycerine required must be determined 
by the nature of the work and the consistency of the cement. The 
cement will set in a few minutes under the influence of gentle heat, 
and will then resist pressure and heat and will neither contract' nor 
expand. 

When set, tlie cement can be employed as a substitute for litho- 
graphic stones, and can replace them, for many practical purposes. 
Will also serve for artistic reproductions, such as the facsimiles of 
terra cotta, whose color and sonorous quality it possesses. 

— 469 — 
What Is Bole? 

Bole is a pigment similar to clay, and occurs in white, 
gray), red, brown and yellow color. It is a silicate of alumina, and 
whatever color the mineral possesses is due to the presence of oxide 
of iron. 

— 470 — 

Opinion as to the Cause of the Exterior of a Dwelling Checking and 

Peeling After Repainting. 

The following detailed statement of the conditions was given by the 
painter of a house on which the paint failed : "The work referred to 
was repainting the exterior of a fine Colonial house, all wood. Have 
had nothing to do with first painting, when the house was built. First 
painting was light gray priming, applied October and November; 
second coat,, light Colonial yellow, with trace of red, applied February 
and March ; third coat about the same color, applied April and May of 
same year. The work was coated very heavily. From September 22 
to November 12, two years later, I repainted the house. All 
of the old paint was thoroughly sandpapered and dusted, and the ma- 
terial used was English B. B. lead, raw American linseed oil and a 
drier of good reputation. For first coat, best yellow ocher in oil was 
used for tinting the lead, with a trifle of Van Dyke brown and enough 
turpentine added to produce an eggshell gloss. The finish was in old 
ivory tint, and very little coloring matter necessary to produce this, 
but in last coat I used in addition to the lead about 20 per cent, genu- 
ine Veille Montagne French zinc. When finished, the whole job 
showed up as fine as any I ever did, but in less than a year's time the 
paint began to check partly across the grain and partly with the grain 
of the wood, and three and one-half years later the work has all gone to 
pieces, checking clean through to the priming in dry places and peel- 
ing off to the wood where exposed to dampness. The blinds, 
which were also painted, have stood very well. These were first 
coated with American lead tinted dark lead color, shaded toward green. 
Second coat was yellow ocher and lampblack, toned up with a dark 
chrome green." 

We cannot find any fault with your painting or the ma- 
terials you have used, although the drier you name is a very strong 
one, and you may have added more to your paint than was necessary 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 191 

for a job which, according- to your statement, was in nowise hurried. 
We think that the disintegration of the paint is not so much due to 
hte addition of zinc white on the final coat as to the heavy coats in 
the original painting of the house, when newly built, and it is just pos- 
sible that if you had made a very close exo;nination of the surface be- 
fore repainting you might have discovered the fissures that showed 
up afterward in the shape of check marks or cracks. Not only that, 
but it may be that the material used in the first painting was of inferior 
quality and not a good foundation for repainting. We trust that some 
of our readers will give us the benefit of their experience on similar 
lines. 

— 471 — 
How Decalcomania Transfer Ornaments Are Applied. 

Coat over very thinly the gold back of the transfer with 
coach varnish, and you need not be particular whether you get the 
varnish on the paper outside of the figure or not. Lay the ornament 
or picture to one side until the varnish becomes quite tacky, then lay 
it on the desired place and rub gently with a moistened sponge until 
all the parts are flattened down. Allow this about one-half hour to 
dry, then wet the paper with a soft sponge and cold water until it lifts 
off easily, when the printed figure will be left perfect on the panel. 
With a soft rag dipped in turpentine, gently rub over the whole to re- 
move the surplus varnish, and the work is complete. 

_472 — 
How to Dissolve Gum Shellac Properly. 

Failure to dissolve white (bleached) shellac in grain alcohol shellac 
so that it remains in suspension may be due to inferiority of the gum 
or to lack of strength in the alcohol. ^ 

When the bleached shellac gum is pure and in good condition and 
the alcohol between 92 and 95 per cent., there should be no appreciable 
settling out of the gum. When we speak of 92 per cent, alcohol, we 
mean that the liquid must contain 92 per cent, absolute alcohol and 
8 per cent, of water in one hundred parts by weight, or when 95 per 
cent, alcohol is mentioned, it means that one hundred parts by weight 
of the liquid should contain 95 per cent, absolute alcohol and 5 per 
cent, water. Spirit of less strength will not cut gum shellac properly, 
and alcohol absorbing moisture very freely must be kept tightly sealed 
up. When purchasing white or bleached shellac, it is best to buy it 
in twist form and not in the pulverized state. To keep these twists 
in good condition a keg should be half-filled with water and placed 
in a cool part of the shop and the twists of gum shellac placed on a 
crate above the water in the keg and the same covered with a cloth, 
and the water should be renewed from time to time. This mthod will 
keep the gum in good condition. If left in a perfectly dry place it be- 
comes crumbly and useless, while when kept under water it tends to 
blacken and mold. To prepare the varnish inclose the gum shellac in 
a strong bag and beat with a hammer or iron pestle; sift out the tine 
particles and continue the operation until it is all pulverized ; place the 
powder in a wide-mouth glass bottle or jar and pour over it the re- 



192 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

m 

quired quantity of 95 per cent, grain alcohol; close the bottle with a 
glass stopper and agitate by oft-repeated shaking. If the receptacle is 
first placed in moderately warm water and then in hot water, it will 
hasten the solution and produce a clearer varnish. The addition of 
Venice turpentine adds toughness to the varnish and permits it to flow 
more freely, but does not add drying properties. It is recommended 
that for white shellac varnish of medium body the following propor- 
tions be used: Two pounds bleached shellac, one-half pound clear 
Venice turpentine, 6 pounds 95 per cent, alcohol. White shellac var- 
nish should be kept in glass only, as tin vessels tend to darken it. The 
reason for your complaint of the slow drying of the shellac varnish,, 
that you purchase in ready for use form, must be looked for in the fact 
that commercial shellac varnish, even when grain alcohol shellac is 
asked for, is not made with that article, but with methylated spirit, and 
it stands to reason that manufacturers cannot supply the orthodox ar- 
ticle at the price quoted. The Painters Magazine in the September,. 
1899, issue, gave a full and thorough description with illustrations in 
an article entitled: "How Shellac Is Manufactured," from which we 
will quote: Lac is a resinous incrustation formed on the bark, 
twigs and branches of various trees by an insect known to entomolo- 
gists as the Coccus Lacca. It is found in most of the provinces of East 
India and in Bengal, Assam and the Central provinces; also in Siam, 
Ceylon and some of the islands of the Western Archipelago. The resin 
is gathered by the natives at various seasons and ground in stone mills 
in a rather primitive manner, by hand, then sifted so as to free it from 
barks, twigs, etc. Then the ground sticklac, so called, is taken to the 
washroom to free it from the lac dye, a beautiful permanent red color. 
When it has been washed, it is spread oyt under cover and permitted 
to dry and finally carefully selected according to color and melting 
quality into the particular grade of shellac which is to be manufactured. 
The ground lac is now packed into a cotton pipe or cotton bag, some- 
what resembling a canvas fire hose pipe. 

In the fire room this cotton bag is hung up about 18 inches above a 
charcoal fire, and twisted by sticks inserted at either end and operated 
in opposite directions by two natives. As the melted lac oozes through- 
the meshes of the cloth pipe, it is scraped off and passed to an operator, 
who dexterously spreads it over an earthen jar filled with hot water. 
The lac is then rubbed down with a cloth to an even surface and 
stripped from the jar. The thick sheet of shellac is again heated before 
the fire on both sides; then stretched and pulled in all directions by 
hand, into a large sheet, then broken up and laid aside to season, pre- 
paratory to shipment. The labor of 250 persons is required to finish 20- 
cases in one day of 12 hours' work. Shellac is bleached by heating 
10 parts of the orange shellac with 4 parts of soda in 120 parts water 
in a copper kettle, and when dissolved, the liquid is filtered through 
cloth into a wooden tub. Ten parts chloride of lime are mixed with a 
solution of 10 parts soda in 200 parts water, and filtered into the shellac 
and soda solution. When the two solutions have cooled .off, a smalt 
portion of dilute hydrochloric acid is added, until some of the shellac- 
separates ; then it is permitted to rest for a few days and the shellac- 
precipitated with hydrochloric acid. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 193 

— 473 — 
Method of Etching on Glass. 

The liquid for etching on glass niay be made by mixing 
three parts of sulphate of barium with one part of fluoride of ammonia, 
and adding sufficient sulphuric acid to decompose the ammonium, 
bringing the mixture to the consistency of rich milk. The mixture 
must be made in a lead pan or leaden vessel and should be kept in a 
bottle of lead or gutta percha. 

P'luoric acid usally etches smooth, while other fluoric preparations 
yield a matt surface. The most beautiful ornamentations are produced 
when certain parts of the glass surfaces are rendered matt by the use 
of fluoride of ammonium, that has been slightly acidulated by means 
of acetic acid. The matt appearance is not always the same with dif- 
ferent kinds of glass, but varies much in beauty according to the com- 
position of the glass, lead glasses being most easily acted upon and 
furnishing a fine matt surface. 

When it is desired to have the surface of the glass not altogether 
matt, but shining like ice, this may be attained in a simple manner by 
placing the glass plate in a perfectly horizontal position and covering 
it with fine groats. Then very dilute fluoric acid is poured upon it. 
The groats act as a shield and produce upon the glass raised points, 
grounds for etching may be prepared as follows : 

White wax, 50 parts ; gum mastic, 25. parts ; asphaltum, 25 parts ; 
melted together; or, white wax, 3 parts; black pitch, i part; rosin, i 
part; asphaltum, 4 parts, also melted together. With either of these 
grounds cover the glass surface, tracing the design upon it, and pour 
on your etching fluid. If the first operation does not etch deep enough 
repeat it until desired eflFect is obtained. 

— 474 — 

To Reduce the Cost of Shellac. 

Rosin is the least costly and best article for the adulteration of 
shellac. It is readily soluble in 95 per cent, wood alcohol, especially 
when done in a water bath. With bleached shellac. 

W. W. or W. G. rosin is the best grade, for orange shellac F or G 
rosin will serve the purpose. If wanted to adulterate the gum shellac 
itself, the shellac and rosin are simply melted together, brought into 
desired shape and allowed to cool. 

If desired to reduce the cost of shellac varnish it is best to dissolve 
the shellac and rosin separately and, allowing the rosin solution to 
settle, using the clear solution only to mix with the lac solution. 

Wood alcohol shellac mixes readily with rosin and benzine liquid 
(called rosin varnish here in the East and gloss oil in the West), and 
many dealers sell such mixtures as shellac varnish. 

It would be better, however, to make the experiment on a small scale 
first and note the drying as against the true wood alcohol shellac. Tf 
it dries too slow, you had better melt the rosin before dissolving it, 
or use hardened rosin. If it sets up too quickly, a small percentage, 
say, 5 per cent, of the quantity of rosin employed of gum, thus (galli- 
pot, ink or crude turpentine) added, will slow it up. 



194 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 475^ 
Cleaning of Painted Walls. 

Plastered walls that have been painted can be cleaned satisfactorily, 
providing the paint has not begun to perish. In cleaning a painted 
wall it is best to have two men working together — one fol- 
lowing the other. In this way there is not so much risk of spot- 
ting or streaking. A stretch of three or four feet is as much as should 
be done at a time. First dampen the wall with a sponge that has been 
saturated with clean water; follow this with soap suds, made from 
castile soap and warm water, applying same with a kalsomine brush, 
scrubbing lightly. When the dirt has been softened in this manner, 
scrub with a solution made by boiling the shavings of one pound of 
<!astile soap in one-half gallon of water, stirring in two pounds of fine 
bolted whiting, and allow to cool. Dip the brush into this mixture and 
scrub, taking care not to scrub harder than is required to remove the 
dirt. Sponge off immediately with clean, soft water and wipe down 
with a wet chamois that has been wrung out. Avoid using too much 
water but wring out sponge and chamois as often as possible, and 
change the water quite frequently. Always begin at the bottom and 
work up. Ceilings are cleansed in similar manner, and when the walls 
or ceilings are smoky a little household ammonia added to the soap- 
suds will add to their efficiency in removing the dirt. 

— 476 — 

Process of Making Chipped Glass Signs. 

The work is done best by means of the sand blast, which up 
to within a few years has been operated by air pressure, but 
in recent years a patented device throws the sand against the glass by 
a jet of steam, doing much cleaner work than the; blast worked with 
fans, blowers or air compressers. In this device the stencils are made 
from toughened paper, rubber or metal, and are fastened to the glass 
with a cement or glue that is not injurious to the polish of the clear 
portions and is easily removed by soaking with warm water. When 
this machine is employed, the steam jet forces the sand against the 
uncovered portions of the glass, but before it strikes the glass a counter 
current of air drives back the steam, so that the sand is dry on action. 

It is evident, however, that these machines are too costly for any 
one who does not follow the manufacture of chipped, frosted, embossed 
or split glass to any extent, and therefore we will consider the old- 
fashioned method of 'producing a similar effect by the use of hydro- 
fluoric acid. In the first place, the glass tp be chipped must be of che 
best quality and free from flaws and blisters. The hydrofluoric acid 
must be kept in leaden or gutta percha bottles, well stoppered with 
rubber corks. The plate of glass must be well cleansed and wiped dry 
and clean with tissue paper, and the letter or ornaments, that are to 
remain clear, must be pounced on the reverse side, and then the glass is 
laid flat on a suitable table with the side up that is to be operated on. 
The letters and ornaments as outlined by the pounce are covered with 
several coats of acid-proof protecting varnish, made from equal parts 
of asphaltum and paraffine wax, melted together and thinned for 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, igS, 

spreading with turpentine. The edges must be clean cut and straight, 
or the letters or ornaments will look ragged. This done, make a border 
of soft beeswax around the edge of the glass to keep the acid from 
running over the sides. Now pour in the acid, so that the parts to be 
acted on are well covered, and let it remain long enough until it has 
eaten well into the glass. Pour off the acid and rinse immediately 
with clear water. Should the etching be too shallow, repeat the oper- 
ation. When satisfactory, remove the wax border, as well as the pro- 
tective varnish, which latter will come off readily by the use of benzine. 
As stated, however, the work is better by far when done by means of 
the sand blast, as it can be far better regulated at will and looks more 
like true chipping. 

— 477 — 

Which Is Best, Liquid Filler or Shellac Varnish? 

We would say that for ordinary work the commercial 
liquid fillers are more economical and useful, especially for soft woods, 
where beauty of the grain is of minor importance. However, where a 
high finish and rich effects are looked for, it is advisable to use shellac 
varnish instead of liquid fillers, which always produce a more or less 
clouded effect and tend to yellow off in time. 

— 478 — 
Fire-Resisting Wash for Shingles. 

We quote the following from the Scientific American of 
several years ago : Dissolve in a barrel of hot water 20 pounds of zinc 
sulphate, 20 pounds of powdered alum, 8 pounds of caustic potash, 8 
pounds of oxide of manganese, and add 8 pounds of oil of vitriol. Pack 
the shingles loosely into another barrel and fill up with the liquid, keep- 
ing the shingles under the mixture by means of a weighted cover. Fill 
the first barrel also with shingles, and allow them to soak for several 
hours, then take them out and pile away to dry. Repeat this operation 
until all the shingles are impregnated with the mixture. Use rubber 
gloves for handling the shingles, and when laid on the roof coat them 
with a suitable oxide of iron paint. 

— 479 — 

Size for Aluminum Bronze on Glass. 

A sign writer wanted the best size for aluminum bronze for outside 
lettering on windows. He puts the bronze on dry, using first coat 
coach varnish, to which just enough yellow is added to color it the 
least bit. He has good results, because it sets quick and lasts well, ex- 
cept in cold weather, when it works too stiff. If thinned with turps it 
does not stand well. 

We think your method perfectly proper for that class of 
work, but you must remember that a first coat coach varnish is not 
considered a first-class article for wear and durability. It is simply a 
filler for succeeding coats of varnish, and you should use what is known 
to the trade as durable body varnish, and of this only the best-known 
brands. This will work more freely, and can be thinned in cold 



196 7i9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

weather with a little turpentine without injuring its durability to any 
great extent. We would advise you to add to the varnish a little white 
lead in oil or flake white in japan, that has been tinted a very light 
lead color with a touch of lampblack. A teaspoonful of this to a pint 
of varnish is sufficient. 

— 480 — 

Dressing for Linoleum Cloth, Also Polish for the Same. 

A thin solution of beeswax in spirits of turpentine rubbed over lin- 
oleum will brighten its appearance. 

A dressing for linoleum is made as follows: Melt over a moderate 
fire 20 ounces of paraffine wax of the soft variety, add one ounce of 
palm oil, and when both are well mixed take from the fire to a safe dis- 
tance and add 4 ounces kerosene. Apply with a rag. The Pharma- 
ceutical Era publishes the following formulas for polish for linoleum : 

1. Melt one ounce of yellow beeswax and two ounces cafnauba wax 
carefully; take from the fire and add 10 ounces turpentine and 10 
ounces benzine. This is best accomplished in a water bath. Stir until 
cold, then apply with a rag and polish. 

2. Melt 5 ounces yellow beeswax, add 10 ounces turpentine, stirring 
it well ; then add 5 ounces of amber of kauri varnish. Apply with a 
rag and polish. 

— 481 — 

Painting Plaster Paris Casts a Clear White. 

Plaster casts may be coated in many ways; small articles 
may be coated and polished by dipping them in melted 
paraffine wax, and then rubbed smooth. New casts may be 
successfully coated and at the same time hardened by applying sev- 
eral coats, with a soft brush, of a hot saturated solution of either 
borax or alum, or a hot solution of chloride of barium, followed by 
several coats of soap water, made with ivory or white castile soap. The 
surplus soap i^then washed off, until the clear water forms beads on 
the surface of the cast. These operations require but a few hours, and 
produce a hard surface, whose substance is insoluble in water, and pre- 
vent the yellowing off of the cast. 

To protect plaster casts from soiling, they may be coated by means 
of a soft brush with the following preparation : White soap and white 
wax, one-half ounce of each, are sliced fine and boiled in two pints soft 
water in a clean vessel until the soap and wax are dissolved. This 
liquid must be applied cold, and it readily dries and does not sink in. 
By going over it, when dry, with a silk handkerchief lightly, its effect 
will be heightened. A delicate white finish may be given to old plaster 
casts or statuary by cleaning the figure first with soapsuds, then rinsing 
thoi^o^ughly with clear water and allowing it to dry. One coat of 
French zinc white, ground in damar varnish, thinned with spirits of 
turpentine, should then be applied, which will dry flat, over which an- 
other coat of the same material may be given, to which more or less of 
clear white damar varnish is added, according to finish desired. 



739 PAINT QUESTfONS ANSWERED, 197 

_48a — 
Testing the Purity of Linseed Oil with Nitric Acid and Other Means. 

The nitric acid test is really simple, but in the hands of 
the novice rather non-conclusive and sometimes misleading. Equal 
parts, say five cubic centimeters of the suspected oil and nitric acid of 
1.40 specific gravity are placed into a glass test tube or convenient 
bottle and shaken very thoroughly, then stood aside until two stratums 
have formed in the tube on the separation of the oil and acid, which 
will take place in from tdn to fifteen minutes, and the color of the two 
strata is observed. When the oil is pure linseed, the upper stratum is 
a light cinnamon brown, the lower colorless in the case of raw oil, 
while in boiled oil, the upper stratum may be a trifle darker, but the 
lower must also be colorless. 

When adulterated with rosin oil, the upper stratum will be found 
dark olive to black, and the lower from straw to orange, according to 
the percentage of rosin oil that may be present. If 50 per cent, is 
present, the upper stratum will be rather black, but as little as 10 per 
cent, will be revealed by the dark olive color in the upper stratum and 
the straw color of the lower one. 

When fish oil is present, the upper stratum will vary from brown 
to a brown black, the lower one from a light to a dark orange shade, 
according to the quantity of fish oil. When linseed oil is mixed with 
cottonseed oil, the upper stratum will turn reddish brown, the lower 
one very pale yellow, more or less so, according to the quantity of 
cottonseed oil present. 

Linseed oil, adulterated with heavy mineral oil, will show similar 
colored strata as rosin oil. 

For the presence of corn oil, we have no information as to the result 
of the nitric acid test, and would advise the moderate heating of rhe 
suspected oil which, when corn oil is present, will emit a sweet, mealy 
odor. By rubbing such oil briskly between the palms of both hands, 
the odor will make itself plainly evident. 

The same may be said of fish, rosin or mineral oils, while cottonseed 
oil is more difficult to detect by these means. 

A simple test for the practical painter, and one that cannot fail, is to 
make a freezing mixture of ice and salt, in which a tube or bottle con- 
taining a small portion of the suspected oil is inserted, together with 
the point of a thermometer. If the suspected oil congeals, that is, as- 
sumes a solid or butterlike consistency, before the thermometer indi- 
cates 18 deg. below the zero mark, the oil is not pure linseed. Cotton- 
seed oil congeals, or rather freezes at 6 deg. F. ; rosin oil at zero, fish 
oil at the freezing point (32 deg. F.) ; rape seed oil at 25 deg. F. 

All of the oils mentioned become much more sluggish than linseed 
oil as soon as the temperature in which they are stored reaches the 
freezing point, and in the cold season they only need to be exposed and 
results noted. To determine exact quantities of adulteration, however, 
the services of an expert analytical chemist are needed. 



198 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 483 — 

To Keep Venetian Red from Running on Second or Finishing Coat, 

On painting a barn with Venetian red in oil, the first coat worked 
well and stodd all right, but after applying the second coat, which 
looked nice and smooth, the sun struck the surface and it began to run 
until it was nearly all off. Five gallons of boiled oil were used to loa 
pounds of the red, which had been successfully used on other jobs. 
The painter asked whether plaster of paris could be used in the mixture 
without injuring the wear of the paint. 

We .would not recommend the use of calcined plaster, because 
it will tend to the paint spotting white in case of rain, before 
it has an opportunity to dry hard, and sometimes even long after it has 
hardened. A good Venetian red that has been ground fairly fine in lin- 
seed oil, raw or boiled, and is thinned to brushing consistency with 
pure linseed oil and liquid drier or japan, will not run, providing the 
first coat is similarly mixed and has dried. When lOO pounds of Vene- 
tian red require only 5 gallons of oil for thinning, it must be pretty 
coarse, inferior stuflF, loaded with barytes and cannot well stand any 
more dilution with pigments like plaster, gypsum or whiting. A good 
Venetian red will stand from 10 to 12 gallons of oil to every 109 
pounds of paste, and not run when applied properly. Your case looks 
to us as one where rosin oil was used instead of boiled linseed oil, 
or else your red pigment was so coarse that oil would not birid it to- 
gether. 

When you have a case where good linseed oil paint runs or sags from 
being mixed too thin, and you have nothing at hand to make it stout 
enough to hold on, mix a little soda solution with your paint. 

— 484 — 

Finishing a Mahogany Counter Top in Wax and Stained a Deep Colon 

Stain the top with a deep, rich, transparent red lake, or 
with a mixture of burnt sienna and red lake, that have been ground 
very fine in oil and thinned with japan drier and turpentine. When 
this is dry, fill the surface in the usual way with paste wood filler that 
has been colored with the same material as the one that your stain is 
composed of. The richer and the more transparent these colors are, 
the more enhanced will be the beauty of your counter top after it is 
finished. Sandpaper lightly, when the filler has become hard. Dis- 
' solve white beeswax in spirits of turpentine to buttery consistency and 
apply one coat of same to the top with an ordinary varnish brush. Let 
this coat get hard, but do not begin to polish. Instead apply another 
coat and let this set up, then use a short bristle, stocky brush, some- 
thing like a horse brush for polishing, which should be done with a 
rotary motion, bringing the full force down upon the brush. If the job 
does not look well with two coats of wax, give a third coat and polish 
again. Windows and doors should be left open to allow the more rapid 
evaporation of the turpentine. In our opinion, however, a varnish 
rubbed polish is more serviceable for a library counter top than wax 
polish, because the latter is always apt to be more or less sticky. 



7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. ' 199 

— 485 — 

Painting the Galvanized Lining of a Water Tank to Prevent Corrosion. 

If the water contained in tank is to be used for drinking 
und cooking purposes, paint containing lead or lead salts must be 
avoided. Ordinary oil or varnish paints will not stick to galvanized 
iron on metallic zinc surfaces. Clean the tank thoroughly by scrub- 
bing sides and bottom and allow to dry, then make a solution by dis- 
solving 2 ounces each of chloride of copper, nitrate of copper and sal 
ammoniac in I gallon of water, and add to the solution 2 ounces of 
muriatic acid, and give the galvanized iron surface one full coating of 
the solution, allowing 24 hours time, when any good paint will adhere 
to it. Use two coats of zinc white in oil with manganese borate foi 
drier. 

— 486 — 

Resinate of Lead and Resinate of Manganese. 

Resinate of lead is prepared by melting either pale or dark rosin 
and introducing into the melted mass under continued agitation with 
an iron or steel stirring rod or paddle varnish makers' litharge, until 
the mass becomes so stiff that it will take up no more and the lead 
oxide is thoroughly mixed with the rosin, which can be ascertained by 
dropping a portion of the semi-liquid mass on a strip of glass. As 
much as 12 pounds of litharge may be thus taken up by 88 pounds of 
rosin. To ascertain ^actually how much litharge should be used, it is 
best to first make a batch with an excess of litharge, weigh out a small 
portion 61 the resulting product, dissolve this in spirits of turpentine 
and and determine the weight of the lead that settles out, which will 
show the extent of the excess. 

Resinate of manganese is made cheapest by using the powdered gray 
or black oxide of manganese in the same manner as litharge is intro- 
duced into the melted rosin, but the process is much slower, the man- 
ganese being lighter in gravity and very apt to ignite and set the whole 
mass on fire, unless the kettle is walled in. The limit is 7J pounds 
manganese to 92J pounds rosin. Any excess of lead or manganese in 
either of these resinates will precipitate on dissolving them in turpen- 
tine or benzine. 

— 487 — 

Most Durable Paint for Smoke Stacks. 

A certain brand of graphite paint was used for a smokestack, but did 
not last long. 

The stack paint you have mentioned is one of the best 
preparations for that kind of work, but, of course, under very severe 
conditions it is bound to perish, as it cannot be considered a baking 
varnish, which is really the only coating that will stand great degrees 
of heat. Much depends on the size of the stack, its diameter, etc., and 
on the degrees of heat to which it may be subjected. We have seen 
smoke stacks painted with ordinary pigments, such as mineral brown, 
Venetian red or lamp black, where the paint has stood for years, while 
others, that were painted with more costly preparations did not last a 



200 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

year. A great deal depends also on the original preparation of surface, 
as well as the binder in the paint. 

For cheap work, a mixture of very finely powdered graphite and 
liquid coal tar will do good service, but if a good, durable job is desired 
a genuine asphaltum varnish, entirely free from rosin and benzine, 
with pure linseed oil as the medium for spreading, and turpentine as 
the solvent to which some high grade lamp black has been added, will 
prove the most durable coating, when applied in two coats, each w^ell 
brushed out. In smoke stack painting, the cost of material is very 
small in comparison with the cost of application, therefore, it is folly 
or misplaced economy to apply inferior material because of lesser 
first cost. 

— 488 — 

Peculiar Case of Peeling OS of Paint on Exterior of Building. 

Samples were submitted of thick layers of paint peeled from a house 
that had been built five years before and painted by the contractors 
with Indian red. When repainted with olive green, in little more than 
a month, it peeled badly right to the wood. 

We notice by examining the underside of the flakes of 
peeled paint that the impression of the grain of the wood is plainly 
visible on the red paint; that it is shining, as if the Indian red had 
been mixed with varnish, and that it has retained "tack" for all these 
years, simply because it was applied so heavy that the oil in the prim- 
ing coat had no chance to dry thoroughly. To all appearances the 
paint was entirely too stout for priming, and there was not enough 
oil to penetrate into the wood to give a firm hold to the paint, and be- 
sides the oil may have been fatty or inferior otherwise. But no matter 
how pure the oil may have been, oxide of iron pigments generally, and 
Indian reds in particular, have the tendency to become alternately soft 
and hard as oil paints, according to weather conditions. That the red 
paint did not peel oflF previous to repainting we believe was due to its 
remaining rather soft and elastic. It certainly does not seem to have 
had a good hold on the lumber, and it merely needed a good hard dry- 
ing paint, like the olive green you applied, to take a grip on it and pull 
it off. Your olive green acted in this case as an involuntary paint 
remover. 

— 489 — 

How Should a Soft Pine Door Be Finished to Harmonize with Hard 

Pine Woodwork? 

We think the simplest way to accomplish this is to give 
the soft pine door a few thin coats of orange or brown shellac or one 
coat of orange shellac and a finishing coat of hard oil finish that is not 
too pale, while the balance of the room that consists of hard pine, 
should be given a coat of pale orange shellac and a coat or two of extra 
light hard oil. It would hardly pay on cheap work to attempt to imi- 
tate the grain of hard or yellow pine on a soft pine door. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 201 

— 490 — 

How to Repaint a Badly Rusted Smoke Stack. 

First of all the rust must be removed, which is done best 
by the use of steel wire brushes of suitable size, aided by saturating the 
incrustations with kerosene oil, which should be washed off with ben- 
zine when the rust spots have been removed. 

If a good, smooth job is wanted, badly pitted places in the iron sur- 
face should be puttied up with a fairly stiff putty made of red lead, 
whiting and boiled linseed oil. If the stack is not subject to too great a 
heat and the expense not too much of an object, a coat of red lead in 
oil, followed by a coat of pure lampblack in boiled oil, will stand best. 
But if the stack becomes very hot when in use, so that oil paint is liable 
to blister, we would recommend the use of genuine asphaltum varnish, 
to which has been added some pure lampblack in oil or some of the 
very finest dry graphite. If the asphaltum varnish is free from rosin 
and made elastic by having been melted with the necessary portion of 
prepared linseed oil and thinned with turpentine, it will bake on the 
metal and stand very high temperature. 

If not desirable on account of the corroded condition of the rnet?^ 
to go to much expense, one or two coats of black paraffine paint or 
refined liquid coal tar, with or without the addition of fine, dry graph- 
ite, will make a fine coating, but this material should not be laid on too 
heavy or it is very apt to run down the stack in laps. For thinning 
liquid coal tar or black paraffine paint turpentine may be employed, 
but light tar oil is cheaper and serves the purpose as well, and the 
brushes used can be cleaned in this solvent with best result. 

_ 491 _ 

What Can Be Added to Paint to Keep Away Gnats During the Dry- 
ing Process? 

We have never heard of laurel oil and do not know its 
characteristics, but have no doubt that it has a pungent odor similar to 
cedar oil, whose odor is very effective in driving away moths. Oil ot 
pennyroyal is very effective in keeping mosquitoes out of rooms when 
kept in an uncorked bottle, but we have no knowledge whether the 
odor of any of these oils would he strong enough in the open air to 
keep the knats away from the paint while setting, as large quantities 
could not be added to oil paint. Try cedar oil, which is inexpensive, or 
spiritine oil. 

— 492 — 

Lime-Proof Greens for Kalsomining on Sand Finished Walls. 

The commercial chrome greens, which are composed of 
chrome yellaw and Prussian blue, with a mineral base, such as barytes, 
gypsum or clay, are strongly acted upon by alkalies, which attack 
both the yellow and the blue, turning the former to an orange and the 
latter to a reddish brown, and therefore are not safe to tint kalsomine 
with, especially when the material is used upon sand-finished walls. 
Even the whiting used in the kalsomine will act upon the greens of 
this composition, and for tints made with Prussian or Chinese blue or 



203 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

chrome green it is best to omit whiting in making the kalsomine and 
employ gypsum or china clay instead. If this plan is not feasible, how- 
ever, then a limeproof green, such as Bremen green, ultramarine green 
or aniline green should be used for tinting. Bremen green is a copper 
green, and not affected by lime, but turns black in the presence of 
sulphur gases, while ultramarine green is unaffected by lime and other 
alkalies, as well as gases. In the aniline greens, lime-proof brands are 
offered as substitutes for copper greens. An ideal green for use in 
the presence of alkalies is the oxide of chromium green, known as 
Guignet's green, but it is very high priced and does not give strong, 
clear tints; neither can it be obtained in a variety of shades. Em'erald 
or Paris green is too heavy a material and but a poor tintcr, nor does 
it mix well with kalsomine. Ultramarine green, that can be obtained 
in light and dark shades, strikes us as best for the purpose. 

— 493 — 

Washing Down and Revamishing Wall Papers. 

If your wall paper has been varnished properly, you can 
clean it by first dusting off with a counter duster and then washing 
down with soapsuds and soft sponge, using a soft brush for extra dirty 
spbts, but we would advise you to first try it on an outof-the-way 
spot in order to see whether the paper will stand this treatment. If 
it does, then proceed; but be very careful to sponge down with clear 
water to remove all traces of soap, and dry with a chamois skin. Do 
not soak the paper or let the water get back of it. When thoroughly 
dry, the most economical method is to give a thin coat of damar var- 
nish. It is, however, necessary to first make a test on a small patch to 
see whether the varnish soaks into the paper, in which case a coat of 
glue size must be applied first. This size is prepared as follows : For 
an ordinary sized room, say, i6 by i6 by ii feet, take 2 pounds best 
glue (gelatin in flakes) and boil same in sufficient water to make a 
size that can be applied smoothly and evenly. Let this stand for 24 
hours to harden, then apply a thin coat of white damar varnish. Wall 
papers so coated may be washed with a soft brush whenever required. 

To varnish wall papers that have not been varnished before, they 
should be given two coats of the glue size referred to, and one thin coat 
damar varnish. If they have been in use before varnishing and become 
soiled, they should be cleansed in the usual way with stale bread or 
bran. 

— 494 — 

Vellum, Its Origin and Value to the Painter. 

Vellum is a fine kind of parchment prepared from the 
skins of calves, lambs, or goat kids. The skins are immersed in iime, 
then shaved, washed and stretched on frames, where they are scraped 
and trimmed with the currier's fleshing knife. Next thy are carefully 
rubbed to smoothness with pumice stone and finally polished with 
French chalk or fresh slaked lime, finely sifted and then dried. A 
bluish color is given them with a solution of indigo, while the green 
color is produced from a solution of verdigris, to which a mordant or 
fixative has been added. To produce a very fine, velvety surface, the 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 203 

whites of eggs are employed and subsequnt friction. Vellum and 
parchment are used by artists, as a painting ground for water colors, 
when they wish to employ something more durable than the ordinary 
sized paper, and Church, in his *'Chemistry of Paints and Painting," 
says that water color paints placed on vellum, parchment and ivory 
sink either very slightly or not at all into their substance — a very few, 
such as aureolin, strontia yellow and madder carmine, stain the super- 
ficial layer. The old method of preparing vellum for the reception of 
water colors consisted in rubbing the surface with very finely ground 
bone ash, or with pulverized gum sandarac. Pumice stone or cuttle- 
fish, reduced to a minutely divided state by grinding and sifting, also 
answers the purpose. We, however, believe that vellum, as used at 
present, is an intitation only of what it has. been and is manufactured 
at the paper mills by modern process, similar to that of parchment 
paper. 

— 495 — 
Enamel Top Dressing and Leather Carriage Top Preservatives. 

The very best enamel top dressing that we know of, and 
which is not so very expensive, is prepared as follows : Dissolve in an 
iron kettle over a good fire, say, 25 pounds of high-grade asphaltum, 
Syrian or Gilsonite, in one and one-half gallons of varnish makers' 
litharge boiled oil ; add 50 pounds burnt Turkey umber, that is ground 
fine in boiled linseed oil ; stir well, and add one and one-half gallons 
more of varnish makers' litharge boiled oil ; then boil the mass until it 
attains body, take from the fire, and when nearly cold, thin with stiffi- 
cient quantity of turpentine to produce an easy flowing varnish or 
enamel. 

The varnish makers' boiled oil should contain from one and one-half 
pounds to two pounds of litharge or red lead to the gallon of oil, and 
be of heavy body. The boiling of the preparation should be done in a 
moveable kettle and closely watched, as asphaltum and umber mixture 
readily boil over. The operation should not consume over two and 
one-half hours. 

A good water-proof leather preservative for carriage tops is made as 
follows, the parts referred to being all by weight: 18 parts of yellow 
country meeswax are melted, and to this one part pulverized borax is 
added, and the mass stirred until a thick jelly has formed. In another 
kettle or pan 6 parts spermacetti is melted, and into this is stirred 5 
parts of asphaltum varnish thinned with 60 parts spirits of turpentine, 
then the wax and borax jelly is added and the whole mass thoroughly 
stirred. Now 5 parts of vine black and 2 parts finely powdered Pras- 
sian blue are rubbed smoothly with part of the mass and then added 
to the same while still warm. Perfume with oil of myrbane (nitro-ben- 
zol.) and put into well closed cans. Apply with a cloth in small quan- 
tities, and rub out well, polish with a brush. Do not apply it too often. 
• Mr. M. C. Hillick gives the following formulas for leather top pre- 
servatives : 

No. I. — Neatsfoot oil i pint, beef suet, 2 ounces. Melt the oil and 
suet together. Then add a tablespoonful of melted beeswax, mixing all 
well together, and bottle. The beeswax has a cooling property greatly 
to be desired in a leather preservative. 



204 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

No. 2. — Darken neatsfoot oil with drop black. Apply sparingly and 
rub out with soft rags. This does not give the brilliancy of finish that 
an enamel dressing does, but it gives to the leather a softness and 
pliability that cannot be obtained otherwise. 

— 496 — 

• How Old Gilt Frames May Be Cleaned and Renewed. 

Old gilt frames may be cleaned by simply washing them 
with a soft sponge of suitable size wet with urine, hot spirits of wine 
or spirits of turpentine. The sponge must not be too wet, simply 
damp enough to take off the dirt and fly-specks. The frames must not 
be wiped dry, but allowed to dry of themselves. If this does not make 
them lustrous enough, the frames must be regilded, which is done by 
making some thin size from parchment and mixing some of this warm 
with water gold size, which is applied with a camel's hair brush in two 
coats. When dry, it is rubbed down with very fine sandpaper and is 
then ready for gilding. When the frame is covered, set it on its edge 
to drain. When perfectly dry, dip a pencil into water and wipe the 
gold over with it, which will take the surplus particles of gold off and 
make it appear solid. For any parts not covered, take bits of leaf with 
a dry pencil and lay on as before, then give the whole a coat of clear 
parchment size, brush the back edges over with ocher and the frame is 
ready. 

— 497 — 

Cause of Paint Cracking and Peeling on Weatherboarding. 

The cracking and peeling of oil paint on exposed wood- 
work may be attributed to several causes, chief among which are poor 
material, undue haste in applying the paint and poorly seasoned lum- 
ber. If the priming paint has been too brittle, cracking and scaling 
is the inevitable result ; if the lumber is too green or one coat of paint 
applied over the other before the latter has had time to harden thor- 
oughly, peeling will surely follow. 

When inferior oil and cheap japans are employed in the thinning 
of the paint, or when the painter works on the idea that anything is 
good enough for priming, he will have just such results as you 
describe. 

— 498 — 

Cause of Paint Peeling from Galvanized Iron and How to Prevent It. 

Galvanized iron and sheet zinc require similar preparation 
in order to make oil paint adhere to the surface. It appears that 
in contact with air zinc oxide is formed on the surface of the metal, 
which throws off the paint in shreds or blotches a short time after it 
has become hard. 

We have found that a mixture of equal parts of pure red lead and 
mineral brown by measure, thinned with equal parts raw linseed oil 
and turpentine applied as a first coat, has given very durable results 
in many instances, no matter what the finishing coat was composed of. 
But the very best results are had if either of the following washes are 
applied previous to first coating: Dilute muriatic acid is applied to 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 205 

the surface, when muriate of zinc will form. That produces a film 
upon the metal, which takes a very strong hold on the same, and upon 
which oil paint will hold as well as upon black iron. Or two ounces 
each of chloride of , copper, nitrate of copper and salammoniac are dis- 
solved in a glass jar or earthen pot in one gallon of water and two 
ounces of muriatic acid are added. Either of these solutions are ap- 
plied to the surface with a wide, soft brush, and when dry it is ready 
for first coating with any good oil paint. 

— 499 — 

How Pressed Wall Paper May Be Hung with Satisfactory Results. 

Pressed or embossed papers will not stick well on a hard 
wall, and here is where your trouble comes in. A double operation 
is required for this class of work. The walls must first be lined with 
brown paper, so as to give a more absorbent surface for the paste on 
the pressed paper to obtain a hold, so that the pressed figures will not 
be unduly moistened ot soaked. 

Without this lining pressed or embossed paper will not adhere with- 
out pressing down, which is the cause of obliterating the figures. The 
ordinary wheat flour paste will serve well enough for pasting the 
brown lining paper to the wall, but for the pressed paper the paste 
must be made quite heavy. Each piece of embossed or pressed paper 
must be trimmed with straight edge and knife before applying the 
paste, and while this requires greater care in putting on the paste, it is 
absolutely necessary, in order to get the paper on the wall quickly, be- 
fore the paste has an opportunity to soak into the relief figures and 
make them limp and flat. A very soft brush must be used in ap- 
plying such paper in place of the stiflf brush or roller, and the seams 
must be permitted to dry before using the seam roller, and even then 
this roller must be used gently, because the color is apt to leave pressed 
or embossed paper more readily than is the case with ordinary papers. 
Do not attempt to press or stretch the paper. 

— 500 — 
Burnishing Gilding and Burnishing Size. 

To burnish gilding successfully a good deal of experience 
is required. The burnishers use either flint or agate, preferably flint, 
and for different work they should be of different forms. When the 
burnishing is done, those parts that have not been burnished must be 
weak sized, that is, they are wetted with water in which just a trifle 
of clear size has been melted, which helps to secure the gold. When 
dry the gold is wiped with a piece of soft cotton wool to remove rough 
or ragged edges of gold, and if any defects are now shown in the gilt 
these must be corrected by cutting up a leaf in small shreds, laying 
them on the defective places previously wetted with a camel's hair 
pencil. 

Burnishing size consists of such ingredients as pipe clay, red chalk,, 
flake graphite, suet and bullock's blood, and can be purchased from 
supply houses in the larger cities. 



2o6 7 Si) PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

— 501 — 

To Make Flour Paste That Will Not Liquefy. 

The proper way to make the paste is to take two pounds best 
wheat flour and one pound of starch, mix each separately in cold water 
to a stiff batter, beating out all the lumps, then thin with more cold 
water to a pudding-like batter, mix the flour and starch batters in a 
pail; have some boiling hot water ready in which has been dissolved 
one and one-half ounces of alum, which pour on the batter gradually 
while stirring the mass vigorously until the paste swells and thickens, 
meanwhile turning darker. It is now cooked. Should by any chance 
the paste become too thin, it may be stiffened by cooking over a slow 
fire. 

— 502 — 

What Is Burgundy Pitch and Canada Pitch? 

Burgundy pitch is an impure rosin prepared from the spruce 
fir of Norway. Canada pitch is pitch from hemlock spruce fir. 
Burgundy pitch is imitated by melting ordinary rosin and linseed oil, 
100 pounds of the former to one gallon of the latter, and enough an- 
natto or palm oil to color. 

— 503 — 
Gilding on Brass and Copper. 

The following formula is given by the Scientific Ameri- 
can for water gilding brass or copper: Convert 6\ pennyweight of 
fine gold into chloride and dissolve this in one quart distilled water, 
then add one pound bicarbonate of potassium and boil the mixture for 
two hours. Insert the articles to be gilded into the warm solution for 
a few seconds up to one minute, according to the activity of the bath. 
We presume, however, that the cross you wish to gild is too large to 
place in a bath such as here described, but should think that the solu- 
tion could be applied as a wash with the brush, and that, if repeated 
several times, would serve the purpose. 

— 504 — 

To Clean Smoky Ceilings Preparatory to Painting in Distemper. 

Would suggest to dry brush the ceilings well and wash 
with a strong solution of pearlash and immediately sponge off with 
clear water. When dry, give a thin coat of freshly-slaked lime, with 
a fair portion of alum that has been dissolved in hot water added. 
When this has dried hard, give a coat of size and proceed with the 
water color. 

In using the pearlash solution, the hands of the workmen should be 
protected with rubber gloves. 

— SOS- 
Paint That Will Hold on Brick Walls Showing Efflorescence. 

To make paint hold on brick walls that show efflor- 
escence, it is necessary to first remove this white powder, usually 



729 FAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 207 

termed saltpeter, by washing with a mixture of muriatic acid and 
water, equal parts, and at the same time scraping off all the loose paint. 
When this has been done, sponge well with clear water and let the 
brick dry thoroughly before painting. The painting should be done 
after a spell of dry weather. It is a difficult matter to cure such walls 
entirely, but when the salts have been neutralized by the means re- 
ferred to and a few coats of good oil paint applied, allowing each coat 
to dry hard before applying another, further exudation of soluble salts 
will scarcely make themselves apparent. 

— 506 — 

Paint for the Outside of Walls of a Stone House. 

We would advise you to use a strictly pure oil paint, 
omitting turpentine, benzine, etc., entirely, and using only as much 
japan as is absolutely necessary. For first coat we would suggest that 
pure white lead, tinted to suit with oil color, be thinned with pure raw 
linseed oil and a trifle of japan, and that this priming should not con- 
tain over ten pounds of white lead and color to each gallon of oil and 
japan, while in succeeding coat or coats not over five gallons of oil 
and japan be used for 100 pounds pure white lead. Of course, if the 
color is to be deeper than a light tint, then more oil will be required. 
If the tint is to be very light or delicate, or if the paint is to be clear 
white, about 15 per cent, zinc white may be added to the paint for the 
finishing coat, which will give a cleaner tone and prevent possible 
chalking. 

— 507 — 

How a Bright Orange Color May Be Made. 

Red lead and yellow ocher will not make a good orange 
color, as both are too dull. Your dark chrome yellow probably was 
not strong enough to admit of white being mixed with it and the color 
became too flat to meet your views. If you purchase a dark or orange 
chrome yellow bearing the brand of any reputable color manufacturer, 
you will most likely find it rich enough in tone to suit, and if not, you 
can tone it with vermilion or red lake to deepen it or with a lighter 
shade of chrome yelllow and white to make it paler. Should first cost 
be too high for the work in hand, you can reduce by adding bolted 
whiting or fine gypsum, as chemically pure chrome has great covering 
power. 

— 508 — 

Refinishing Interior Woodwork, Now in Whitewood and Light Wal- 
nut, in Cherry. 

We should say that the best way to proceed is to thor- 
oughly remove the varnish by means of strong aqua ammonia, to 
v/hich a little turpentine is added, say one part turps to two or three 
parts ammonia. This addition of turpentine will prevent raising the 
grain of the wood and darkening it. When the varnish has been re- 
moved in this manner, the surface should be washed down with clear 
turpentine or benzine and permitted to dry. If during the process 



3o8 7ip PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

some of the filler has also been removed, it is best to first stain the 
wood with a cherry stain that is of good strength, and then refill the 
wood with appropriate filler, smooth, sandpaper and revarnish. If you 
wipe your stain at the proper time, we do not see why the natural 
grain should not show through, providing you make your cherry stain 
from a burnt sienna of good, rich transparency, enriched with some 
orange lake or red lake. For this refinishing the stain should be 
nearer mahogany than cherry to enable you to get what you desire, 
but above all, the stain must be strong and rich, and wiped before it 
sets up too much. A good pale interior varnish or first-class hard oil 
finish seems to be the proper finish. 

— 509 — 

Softening Hard Putty and Taking Out Window Panes Without Break- 
ing Sie Glass. 

Take three pounds of quick stone lime, slake it with hot 
water, then add one pound American pearlash. Have it in the con- 
sistency of a soft paste, and apply it to both sides of the glass where 
it is laid in the putty ; let it remain for twelve hours, when the putty 
will be soft and the glass may be taken out without breaking. The 
putty can then be. removed easily by scraping. Soda ash or caustic 
soda may be used in place of the pearlash. When the putty has been 
scraped off, the surface from which it has been removed should be 
washed with vinegar and allowed to dry before the new glass is put in. 

— 510 — 
Cleaning Violins and Violin Bows. 

For cleaning of violins, saturate a piece of soft silk with 
ordinary paraffin oil and proceed to wash the violin with it. The ef- 
fect is a quick one; the paraffin dissolves the crust of dirt and rosin, 
cleaning the varnished surface without injury. 

For the bow, take a small piece of flannel, wet with cold water, and 
rub it well over with yellow soap, double it, holding the hair between 
the finger and thumb, rub gently until clean, using plenty of soap ; then 
rinse out the flannel, wipe off the soap, then wipe dry with a piece 
of soft muslin or linen. In an hour the bow will be ready for the rosin. 
The polished back of the bow may be cleaned with paraffin oil. 

— 511 — 

Sanitary White Paint for the Inside of a Wooden Tank Containing 

Drinking Water. 

In the first place the tank must be dry before it can be 
fainted. When the wood is water soaked, paint will not adhere. 
Naturally white lead in oil would be best for priming coat, but medical 
authorities are opposed to the use of lead or lead salts in minute quan- 
tities even. This leaves oxide of zinc as the only safe white pigment 
that has covering power enough for the purpose, because some au- 
thorities draw the line also against the insoluble lead sulphate and 
against lithopone white. Zinc white, ground in pure raw linseed oil 
and thinned with manganese boiled oil and some turpentine may be 



7i9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 209 

employed as a coating without injury to the health of those using the 
water. 

— 512 — 

How Many Square Feet of Surface Is a Man Able to Cover in a Day of 

Nine Hours? 
This question has too many sides to answer in these columns, 
and it depends upon the class of work to be done. When a 
painter works on a wall, where he can reach every portion from the 
floor or at most from a low trestle platform, he can do more than when 
he works from a ladder or a scaffold, and he can cover more surface 
than when he paints window frames, sash-work, cornices, etc. We 
should say that a painter with a full bristle pound brush can, on the 
side wall of a frame building, cover 720 to 800 square feet, one coat, in 
a day of nine hours and do it well, provided the paint works well and 
he is not afraid of using elbow grease. 

— 513 — 

How Is Wood Polished? 

There are various methods for wood polishing; the oldest method 
known is oil polish, which is very simple. Apply either raw or boiled 
linseed oil to the wood, but not in a heavier film than the wood can ab- 
sorb. Take a heavy block of wood and nail a piece of felt to it or wrap 
the felt around a square piece of stone and rub the surface until no- 
more oil is to be noticed. Let this stand for a few days and repeat the 
operation every few days until a satisfactory gloss is obtained. 

This miethod, however, is very expensive and requires weeks, even 
months, to accomplish the desired effect. 

French polish, too, is very expensive and we would say that the 
American method is the quickest and therefore least costly. 

After the wood has been filled and varnished, the surface is rubbed 
with pumice and water to a dead level and then well cleaned to prevent 
scratches in polishing. 

The quickest way to produce the polish is to take a handful of raw 
cotton and dip it into a mixture of equal parts of refined cpttonseed oil 
and alcohol and rub the job with a rotary motion and a fine luster will 
appear shortly, and with a little skill on the part of the operator a fine 
polish is the result. 

— 514 — 

Receipt for Making Terra Cotta Paint. 

Two parts French yellow ocher and one part medium Venetian 
red by weight will make a good terra cotta color, while five parts of 
white lead,. mixed with one part of burnt Italian sienna, will produce a 
strong terra cotta tint. 

— Sis- 
Green Stain for Woodwork. 

To make a good green stain for woodwork take chemically pure 
green, ground in oil, for the proper shade, and add japan sufficient to 
make it dry and thin the resulting mixture with spirits of turpentine 



2IO 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

or naphtha. If too bluish, add chrome yellow; if too yellowish, add 
Prussian blue or drop black, or both blue and black. If the stain is 
strong, thin it out more. Fine green stains may be produced from 
aniline greens, but they are not fast to light, as a rule. 

—516- 

Painting in Imitation of Granite. 

If you wish to imitate the gray granite, have your ground color 
light gray or light lead. Mix your black and white for spattering with 
enough turpentine so that they will not run and spatter, first with 
black, then with white, by striking the brush against a heavy stick, 
which is held close up to the work. The brush should be stubby and 
broad, and must not be too full or it will make blotches. This method 
is much quicker and does not require as much skill as stippling with 
a sponge, and both colors can be spattered on one after the other with- 
out waiting for the first to dry. 

To imitate red granite, the ground should be a salmon tint, made 
from white ocher and Venetiati red, while the spatter colors are black, 
red and white, and are applied as described in the method of imitating 
the gray granite. 

— 517 — 
Rough Plastered Walls and Ceilings That Are Spotted and Water 

Stained — How to Proceed in Repainting in Water Colors. 

In the first place, you should tell the trustees of the church that they 
must have the roof looked after, as well as the gutters or valleys of the 
same, or you cannot guarantee to keep back the stains. 

To prepare such walls and ceilings as you describe for repainting, 
broom them down, fill in the cracks in the usual manner and give the 
ceiling a thin coat or wash of clear whiting and water, which will bring 
out all the hidden water stains on drying. If the stains are bad, a coat 
of a mixture made of equal parts boiled oil, japan and turpentine must 
be applied over the stained surface, followed by a coat of shellac var- 
nish and a thin coat of flat lead. If the stains are light only, a coat of 
shellac varnish and a coat of flat lead will hold them back. 

The coat of flat lead must be given because water color is liable to 
scale when applied directly over varnish. For cheap work, a coat of 
wall or ceiling varnish (sometimes termed suction varnish) will serve 
the purpose as well as shellac, but for the reasons mentioned above the 
coat of flat lead should not be omitted. 

The parts of ceiling where there are no stains and the walls should 
be washed down, permitted to dry and sized with a soap, alum and 
glue size, made in these proportions. One pound of good. white glue 
is soaked in a quart of water, then dissolved in boiling water, one 
pound bar soap is also dissolved in one quart of boiling ivater and two 
pounds of pulverized alum in one quart boiling water. The glue and 
soap water are then mixed and to this is added slowly, accompanied 
by continued stirring, the alum solution. Add enough water to make 
of the consistency of thin syrup. Water colors will work freely on 
this size and the result will be uniform. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. ' 211 

— 518- 

Cheap Oils for Roof Painting. 

Rosin oil will probably last for two years as a paint when mixed with 
mineral paint that has been ground in linseed oil to a paste, but we 
doubt as to whether the tin roof will last that long. Rosin oil, 
thinned with one-fourth of its volume of benzine (naphtha) 62 deg., 
will work freely and hold on well to tin when used with mineral paint, 
but it will alternately become hard and soft, according to the condi- 
tions of the atmosphere. When tempered with a small portion of 
japan drier and about 20 per cent, of raw linseed oil, it will stand for 
about two years on tin or iron, but the surface must be free from rust. 

There are numerous paint and putty oils offered, and some of these 
will no doubt do the work desired. A new tin roof costs more than ten 
times the value of the paint applied upon it, and if the roof rusts and 
goes to pieces in two years, such paint is dear at any price and the 
painter will find it so to his sorrow. 

— 519 — 

Apparent Causes for White Lead and Zinc Paint Turning Black in 

Streaks. 

A new building was painted with two coats of white lead and lin- 
seed oil ; turpentine in second coat, but no driers in either coat. In the 
last coat, 20 per cent, zinc white was used. In two weeks the building 
was badly streaked with black, especially the porch posts. The 
weather had been damp and rainy. There were no trees near the 
house and no smoke to amount to anything within a mile ; but, when 
the painting of the house was nearly completed a 36,000-barrel oil tank, 
two miles away, was struck by lightning. 

When painting in damp weather it is always more safe to use a 
moderate quantity of driers in oil paint in order to make it dry harder, 
so that the finished surface is not so liable to take up the dust from 
sudden storms, and the precipitate from smoke. To all appearances 
the smoke from the burning oil has caused the streak, and it might be 
well to try a little weak soapsuds with a sponge on some of the black- 
ened portion of the paint to see whether the blackening is only super- 
ficial oi* whether it extends all the way through the coating of paint. 
We know of the experience of a painter who painted a frame house in 
white, which was nearly three miles from a lampblack factory. After 
applying the finishing coat and before the paint had well dried, a 
storm carried the smoke and soot over the surrounding country, giv- 
ing the house in question the appearance of a salt and pepper suit. 
However, we will not insist that it was the effect of the smoke from 
the burning oil, and should like to know what brand of zinc white was 
used, as we have a strong suspicion that lithopone white, a sulphide 
of zinc and barium sulphate combination, is sometimes sold as zinc 
white, and we know that this material, when mixed with white lead, 
will streak black on exposure. 



212 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

— 520 — 

Brick Paint to Pencil Over and to Wear Well. 

You can buy flat brick paint in any shade of red or Milwaukee brick 
color in paste form, and all you require is to thin it with turpentine so- 
that it will dry flat when applied over a ground of oil paint of similar 
color. You can pencil this without trouble with white lead in oil and 
turpentine for white joints, or with drop black or lampblack in oil and 
turpentine for black joints. If you do not care to purchase the pre- 
pared flat brick paints, you can mix the desired color yourself by mix- 
ing stiff ground Venetian red and yellow ocher with japan and tur- 
pentine for flat brick red, and white lead, yellow ocher and a little raw 
umber for Milwaukee flat brick color, also thinned with japan and 
turpentine. Whether this paint will wear well depends upon the elas- 
ticity of the ground coats, of which there should be two for unpainted 
brick surface. 

— 521 — 

How Pine Tar or Coal Tar Paint May Be Thinned So as to Spread 

Without Heating. 

If your tar paint consists of pine tar, use spirits of turpentine to re- 
duce it to free spreading consistency. Do the same if it is a mixture 
of pine tar and coal tar. But if it is straight coal tar dilute it with oil 
of tar, the so-called light oil or creosote oil. 

— 522 — 

Stopping or Waterproofing a Wooden Tank Without Injury to the 

Water. 

No nuatter what material you are going to use it will not adhere or 
serve the purpose, unless the tank is drained well and premitted to dr>' 
out thoroughly. Then the hoops must be tightened and the inside be 
given a coat or two of hot paraffin oil or melted paraffin wax, applied 
hot. This done, give the iron or steel hoops a coat of red lead and the 
outside of the tank one or two coats of good, elastic oil paint of any 
color desired. This is the best suggestion we have to offer for this 
class of work. 

— 523 — 

How Brass or Copper Signs Are Made. 

This work is done by etching with acid. To make a brass sign, pro- 
cure the suitable metal, clean the surface and paint it with asphaltum 
varnish, leaving the letters or ornaments unpainted. Put a border of 
soft beeswax around the edge high enough to hold the acid. Dilute 
nitric acid with five times the quantity of water and pour this diluted 
acid on the surface about one-quarter inch deep. When the letters 
are cut in deep enough, which must be ascertained by trial, the acid 
must be poured oflF and the plate cleaned by repeated heatings and 
wiping and finally washed with turpentine. The letters may then be 
filled in with a cement, made by mixing equal parts of asphaltum, 
shellac and lampblack, which is melted in by heating the plate and 



ZS9 PATNT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 213 

smoothed over with a hot sad iron. When the cement is hard, the 
sign may be polished. 

Copper signs are more difficult to prepare, and unless one has ex- 
perience in that line he had much better not try the experiment. The 
surface must be prepared first by cleaning it with photographer's 
emery paper, then a solution of yellow beeswax in turpentine, de- 
canted until no sediment remains, with one-eighth of its volume of 
japan varnish, is used as a ground for etching. This solution must be 
applied hot, as a bath, in a porcelain dish to the plate until the color 
of the plate darkens uniformly, for if one bright spot remains it shows 
that there is a grease spot still left, and all must be gone over again.' 
When the etching ground has dried, the surface must be smoked with 
twisted tapers, holding the plate upside down; then it is dried and 
ready for the etching. The letters are hiarked out by removing the 
ground with steel needles or steel points. Needles are, of course, 
used only for very fine lines, while appropriate steel points are used 
for the heavy lines or letters. 

The etching fluid is variously described in the following formulas : 

Lalanne recommends: Nitric acid, 40.0, mixed with equal quantity 
of water, adding bits of scrap copper. 

Another suggests: Nitric or sulphuric acid, one part; saturated 
solutions of bichromate of potash, two parts; water, five parts. 

While we do not desire to deter the progressive painter from ex- 
perimenting, we rather think that this kind of work had best be left 
in the hands of those who make a regular business of it» as it is a waste 
of time for a busy man to engage in undertaking to make copper 
signs, when they can be obtained at a much lower figure than the ma- 
terials required would cost the experimenter. 

— 524 — 

r 

Best Method of Laying Patent Gold Leaf on Wooden Surfaces. 

Patent gold leaf is used exactly in the same manner as the regular 
leaf. It is only prepared so as to save the leaf when gilding is done 
outdoors, and awnings need not be erected to keep the leaf from blow- 
ing away. It is so put on that the adhesion to the size is greater than 
to the leaf of paper, and so comes off onto the work as desired. In lay- 
ing the leaf use the ordinary size and proceed in the usual way. 

— 525 — 

How the Settling of Enamel Paint May Be Prevented Without Im- 
pairing Drying Quality. 

Not knowing the composition of your white enamel, it is difficult for 
us to say what you should use to keep it in suspension. Enamel paints 
that are well made, as a rule, do not require frequent stirring and do 
not tend to settle to any extent in the can or other package. 

The rapid settling may be due to the use of one or more pigments of 
heavy specific gravity, such as white lead and barytes or lithopone, or 
it may be due to the use of varnish of light body. In either case, the 
remedy is to add a pale varnish of very heavy body, which you know 
to be a quick drying medium. 



214 7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

If you make your own white enamel and intend it for interior work 
only, use the best French zinc, ground in damar varnish, break up the 
paste to the consistency of flour paste batter with turpentine, and add 
sufficient of the best white enamel varnish obtainable to make a free 
flowing paint of good gloss. To make one gallon will require one ten- 
pound can of French zinc in damar, less than one-half pint turpentine 
and about one-half gallon white enamel varnish. In every case the 
enamel should be strained through a fine wire sieve or through cheese 
cloth. Enamel paint made on this plan will not settle readily and may 
be rubbed down with pumice and water in 48 hours, or with pumice 
and crude oil in from 72 to 96 hours. For exterior work, a first class 
white enamel of great durability can be made by using equal parts of 
flake white in japan and French zinc ground in damar, thinning in 
similar manner, with the exception that the varnish employed should 
be a very pale outside varnish. 

— 526 — 
How Dry White Lead Is Pulped and Ground in Linseed Oil. 

When white lead corrosion has been accomplished and the coarser 
particles of uncorroded metallic lead have been removed in the separat- 
ing apparatus, it is put through rollers and passed into screens that 
revolve under water, so as to prevent the raising of dust, and in this 
manner is freed from the finer particles of metallic or uncorroded lead, 
the so-called trailings, which are used in the manufacture of oxide of 
lead. Through an opening in the bottom of the tank, in which the 
second screening takes place, the white lead and water together pass 
into the hopper of a burr mill, which grinds the material to impulpable 
fineness and passes it into a series of floating tanks, the finest lead 
being carried to the farthest of the tanks, the coarser being deposited 
in the tanks nearest the mill. 

In this way the lead becomes "pulped'* and is run off or pumped into 
large tanks, when it is agitated by compressed air, allowed to settle 
and the clear water drawn oflF. Then more clear water is allowed to 
run into this tank, and the pulp stirred again and this process is re- 
peated, until all traces of acetate of lead are eliminated by this so-called 
washing. The pulp is then either placed on drying pans for the pro- 
duction of dry white lead, which is afterward sold dry or mixed with 
linseed oil and ground on burr stone or roller mills, or it is allowed 
to run into long cylinder-shaped mixers in vertical position, that have 
a stirring device suited to the purpose. When this is in operation, the 
required quantity of pure linseed oil (no other oil will do it), is allowed 
to run in, and in a short time the lead and oil mix and unite in the bot- 
tom of mixer, leaving the clear water on top. After this water has 
been drawn oflF, a gate in the bottom of the mixer is opened and the 
lead and oil mixture run oflF into a cooler, where a trifle more oil is 
added, which expels the remaining water, that is also drawn oft. 
Now the mixture is run through a mill, preferably a roller mill, and 
the product is finished. White lead in oil ground in this manner has 
been designated as "pulp ground lead,*' while that ground from the 
dry lead has been known as "dry ground." The latter may always be 






739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 215 

recognized by more or less clear oil being found on top in opening 
package, while separation of oil rarely takes place in the "pulp ground" 
article. 

— say- 
Preventing and Curing Mildew or Mold in Basement Walls. 

House mildew or mold, is the hardest of all fungus growth to pre- 
vent or to cure, because it is caused by dampness in the foundation 
walls and lack of proper ventilation. By placing about a few deep 
plates or pans of quick lime, renewing the same as often as it becomes 
slacked, in damp basements, closets or cellars, the appearance of mil- 
dew or mold may be prevented and sometimes it may effect a cure, es- 
pecially when not too deep rooted. In your case the usual remedy, 
i. e., a wash with muriatic acid would hardly answer, because the sur- 
face is painted, nor would melted paraffin, applied hot, do much good, 
because this remedy is efficacious only when applied to the bare wall 
and worked in with a paint burner. 

Dr. Theo. Koller, in "Die Mappe," says : As to paraffin, there is not 
a more elastic material which protects more against dampness and 
atmospheric influence than this product of petroleum. As the 
cheapest kind of paraffin may be used for the purpose, cost need not 
be an obstacle in its use. One part of paraffin, melted in three parts 
of heavy coal tar oil in a water bath is a superior medium to coat 
foundation walls or any part of a building exposed to dampness or 
other atmospheric influences. To have this solution of paraffin and 
coal tar oil in proper condition for application, put the vessel contain- 
ing it into a large vessel of hot water, same as you would melted glue, 
and apply several coats with large wall brushes. 

— 528 — 

White Ocher, Its Origin and Composition. 

We have no exact data at hand as to the origin of the term white 
ocher, and our earliest recollection of its existence dates back about 
twelve years, when it made its first appearance in some Western 
towns. It is now generally sold by jobbers as white or priming ocher, 
and is, no doubt, another fancy name, invented by some enterprising 
paint grinder or salesman for one of the so-called combination leads in 
which pure lead is conspicuous only by its utter absence. The com- 
position, so far as the pigment is concerned, consists of barytes chiefly, 
with a small portion of zinc white or lithopone, or probably sublimed 
lead to give some whiteness to the mixture. The percentage used of 
these pigments vary with the selling price, as does also the quality of 
oil in which the pigments are ground. We will not go far astray if we 
place the percentage of barytes at from 75 to 90 parts of the total pig- 
ment, arid also in saying that most of the brands contain only small 
amounts of pure linseed oil, balance being cottonseed or mineral oil. 
These so-called white ochers being sold mainly for priming purposes, 
as they would have but very inferior body for finishing paints, you 
can readily see what little real value there is in them, and a painter 
who values his reputation and who is intelligent enough to figure costs 
of material comparatively, will steer clear of such products. Try it 



2i6 7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

for yourself ; ask your supply house to obtain a 25-pound can and make 
a test against pure lead or pure zinc white by mixing each with the 
requisite amount of thinners and spread the resulting paints over any 
given surface. As you have handled yellow ochers for years, you 
know that pure French or American ochers consist of oxide of iron, 
silica and alumina, and that they never contain barytes. Therefore, if 
there were any white ochers in existence, they would contain neither 
oxide of iron, nor any barytes, and the nearest natural mineral that 
might be classed as white ocher v/ould be kaslim, or China clay. 

— 529 — 

» 

Imitating Ground Glass on Ordinary Window Panes Without Re- 
moving Same. 

In order to roughen the glass by means of acid, you will have to re- 
move the sash and lay it on trusses horizontally, clean the glass 
thoroughly on the side to be operated on, then moisten the panes all 
over with white, or French acid. When roughened sufficiently, wash 
thoroughly with clean water. 

To imitate ground glass cheaply, there are several methods. The first 
of these is made known by Leon Vidal, and consists of a varnish made 
as follows: Eighteen parts of gum sandarac and 4 parts of gum 
mastic are dissolved in 200 parts ether, to which is added 100 parts 
coal tar benzol. The glass is thoroughly cleaned and the varnish ap- 
plied until the desired effect is produced. 

Another method which steam vapors will not affect or destroy, is to 
put a piece of glazier's putty into muslin, then twist the fabric tight, 
until it has the form of a pad. Clean the glass well first, then pound it 
lightly with the pad, from which sufficient of the putty will exude to 
render the stain opaque. Let it dry hard and then give it a coat of 
pale, durable varnish. If a pattern is required, cut it out of paper 
as a stencil ; place it so that it will not slip and proceed as above. If 
letters or ornaments are too clear, cover same with opaque varnish. 

— 530 — 

Chipped Glass Sign Effects Produced by the Use of Acid. 

We have plainly stated that the best chipping is done with the im- 
proved sand blast, but in giving the older methods for the benefit of 
those who cannot use the sand blast, we have omitted several im- 
portant points. The chipped effect can be produced, as you say, by 
applying hot glue to ground glass, and it can also be produced in 
similar manner when the glass has been treated with white or French 
acid, which you can obtain from any druggist, and gives a perfectly 
matt surface, similar to ground glass. This acid consists of one part 
by volume of fluoric acid and two parts by volume of liquid ammonia 
and must be used without any addition of water. 

If, however, a clear chipped glass design is wanted, the surface must 
be first treated with hydrofluoric acid to eat off the enamel, then rinsed 
and allowed to dry. Then the glass is covered with fine groats, using 
the protecting varnish referred to for the purpose, and when the groats 
are dry, very dilute fluoric acid is poured upon the plate. The groats 



7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 217 

act as a shield and produce the raised portions seen in chipped glass. 
When the acid has eaten deep enough in the unprotected portions of 
the surface^the acid is poured off, the glass thoroughly rinsed and the 
protecting film removed with benzine or turpentine. 

— 531 — 

Freehand Relief on Canvas-Covered Walls — How to Prepare. 

If the canvas-covered walls are well painted, a flat coat of paint is all 
that is required to hold the relief work, but if the canvas is absorbent, 
a size composed of equal parts linseed oil, drier and turpentine must 
be applied in order to give the relief a good hold. In other words, it is 
necessary to stop suction, and the size mentioned is best adapted to the 
purpose. Where absorption is very much in evidence, hard oil may be 
used, but glue size should be avoided. 

— 532 — 

Oil Drier That Will Not Change the Color of Oil Paints. 

The use of alkalies is unnecessary in the manufacture of driers, and 
is only resorted to in very cheap grades, in order to give additional 
hardness at lowest possible cost or in order to harden the rosin used in 
preparing cheap driers. Good oil driers should be free from any sort 
of gum, and especially free from rosin. To make a good oil drier of 
medium color, which will not materially affect the color of oil paints, 
the following ingredients are best adopted : 

Twenty gallons of well-settled raw linseed oil. 

Twenty pounds red lead. 

Twenty pounds litharge, powdered. 

Ten pounds white sugar of lead. 

The oil is first heated to the boiling point, and the lead oxides and 
lead acetate introduced gradually, while the oil is being constantly 
agitated. The temperature should not be allowed to rise above 250 
deg. C. at any time, or the product will be too dark. When the mass 
has assumed a bronze brown color and become rather viscid, a sample 
is put on a strip of glass and on cooling it must harden free of tacki- 
ness. On reaching this stage the kettle is removed from the fire and 
before the mass has cooled off too much, it is reduced to liquid form 
with spirits of turpentine, of which about 40 gallons are needed. 

For a pale drier borate of manganese is substituted for the lead 
oxide, and for 20 gallons of linseed oil 10 pounds borate of manganese 
and 10 pounds white sugar of lead is sufficient, and the temperature 
in boiling should not be allowed to rise above 220 deg. C. This re- 
quires to be heated for a longer period, but the thinning is to be done 
as above. 

— 533 — 

Refining and Bleaching Raw Linseed Oil for Use in Grinding White 

Lead. 

We do not know of any process that will bleach linseed oil white 
unless by a very slow method, which takes too long to admit of using 
it in manufacturing on a large scale. This is bleaching by sunlight, * 



218 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

m 

and is all right for the purposes of the artist or small painter. The 
bleaching process by the use of chlorines is not a safe one, as the 
bleached oil. cannot be freed entirely from the chemical. 'Pure white 
lead acts itself as a bleaching agent on the oil ; when air is admitted 
and when white lead is ground in raw linseed oil and thinned with 
raw oil for exterior work, it will, although of a creamy yellow color 
on first application, bleach out white in a very few weeks. For in- 
terior work, of course, it is best to have the lead ground in refined or 
bleached oil, especially where the work is to dry flat. But even here 
it is not necessary to have the oil water white, it being sufficient, 
when the oil has had all albuminous and mucilaginous matter removed 
by refining and has assumed a very pale greenish or yellowish color. 
This stage can be attained in a large way by the sulphuric acid treat- 
ment. Be it remembered, however, that only the pressed oils can be 
thus treated with success; extracted oils are too light in body to be 
decolorized by such a method. These will become darker and redder 
in contact with acid. 

The apparatus necessary to refine oil consists of two oblong wooden 
boxes, which are set on top of one another, that on top being about 
one foot shorter than the other, both of sufficient width and depth to 
hold a given quantity of oil. They must be lined inside with sheet 
lead all over, bottom and sides, and the bottom of each is to be tri- 
angular in shape, in the center of which is a perforated lead pipe for 
the purpose of agitating the oil in the top box and of washing the 
treated oil in the bottom box with steam. Over the top box runs a 
perforated lead pipe coil, with a leaden funnel attached. There are 
spigots attached to the boxes, the one in the top box for the purpose 
of draining the treated oil into the bottom box, and two spigots in the 
bottom box, one about a foot above the bottom, to draw off the clear, 
refined oil, and one at the bottom to draw off the water from the con- 
densed steam which has collected in the bottom of the box. The top 
box IS termed the treating tank, the lower one the washiijg tank. 

The treatment consists in the following: Well settled raw linseed 
oil is placed into the treating tank to within a foot of the top, and the 
oil agitated by compressed air, supplied from a rotary pump or other- 
wise, and sulphuric acid of 66 deg. Beaume (oil of vitriol), slowly dis- 
tributed over the surface of the oil so that no charring can take place, 
by means of the perforated lead pipe, the acid being poured into the 
leaden funnel. One pound of acid is generally sufficient for every lOO 
pounds of oil, and when all the acid is distributed the agitation is kept 
up for from six to eight hours. After resting for twelve hours, the 
scum is removed and the oil tested, which should have a greenish color, 
in an ordinary test tube. Now the oil so treated is run off into the 
washing tank and the steam turned on, so as to agitate the oil with 
moderate violence. This should be continued for a whole day and the 
scum forming on top removed from time to time. The steam is turned 
off in the evening and the oil allowed tb rest during the night. Next 
morning steaming is started again and continued for another day. 
Now the oil is tested for remaining traces of acid by m'eans of litmus 
paper, and, if traces of acid are still found, the water is drawn off 
through the bottom spigot, and steaming resorted to again. To neu- 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 219 

trAlize any remaining traces of acid, a small quantity of lime water 
is put into the washing tank during the last steaming. The oil is now 
pale, but still turbid, and before use should be drawn off into settling 
tanks that are open at the top to admit light and air, when the oil will 
be clear and fairly well bleached inside of ten days. 

— 534 — 

Refilling the Black Letters in Brass Signs. 

Clean all the old black out of the letters carefully, then heat the plate 
and melt black sealing wax into the letter spaces. Even the surface 
with a warm sad iron and scrape off the surplus. Finally hold a warm 
sad iron over the letters to bring out the glaze. A cement, which is 
used in the same manner as the black sealing wax, is made by mixing 
equal parts of asphaltum, shellac and lampblack, and melting this in 
the letters. Still another filling is mjade by taking equal parts of as- 
phaltum, varnish and brown japan, with enough dry'lampblack to form 
a stiff putty, which is pressed into the spaces with a putty knife and 
the edges cleaned off with turpentine. When the filling is dry the 
wholeplate may be polished. The cement described first hardens as 
the plate cools off ; the last one requires a few hours to become hard 
enough to polish over. 

— 535 — 

How English and American Vermilion Should Be Mixed for Sign 

Work, so as to Insure Good Wear. 

English vermilion (or quicksilver vermilion) is sulphide of mercury, 
and very easily affected by strong light, which in time will turn it very 
dark, no matter how well protected by varnish. The pale shade will 
darken much more rapidly than the deep shade. There is no protec- 
tion against that; it is in the ^nature of the material. 

American vermilion, or chrome red, is the basic chromate of lead, 
and while it is a good wearing pigment it soon loses its original scar- 
let red color and turns to a dull brown on exposure to strong light. 
Good, durable outside varnish will protect both of these vermilions 
from too rapid darkening, but cannot arrest the change for any great 
length of time. We do not think that varnish should be used in mixing 
either of these for sign grounds, even when the signs are to be var- 
nished over, and would suggest the use of one part of a good drier, 
five parts of pure raw linseed oil and four parts of turps. Or, if you 
have a strong drying boiled oil, omit the drier and make your thin- 
ners from three parts of this boiled oil and two parts turpentine. 
Mixed in this way, either English or American vermilion will flat 
sufficiently to be varnished over and contain enough binder to wear 
well, provided the oil is of good body and the turpentine strictly purt. 

The lasting quality or durability of the paint will depend largely 
on the quality of the varnish that is placed over it, and the permanency 
of the color depends to a great extent on the degree of exposure which 
the signs will be subjected to. 

The use of both English and American vermilion has, for some years 
past, been very much curtailed by the substitution of the so-called red 
lead and eosine vermilion, which, however, instead of darkening, for 



220 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

the most part fade or bleach very quickly on exposure. If you are 
looking for something more unchangeable than either of those men-» 
tioned, we should advise you to try some of those non-fading or per- 
manent reds or vermilions that have been so largely offered to the 
trade of late. 

— 536 — 

Staining Woodwork with Acids. 

For staining wood brown, sulphuric acid, more or less diluted, ac- 
cording to the depth of stain desired, is applied to the wood, previously 
cleaned and dried with a brush, and when the acid has acted enough 
its further action is arrested by the application of liquid ammonia. 

To age oak artificially, liquid ammonia is laid on with a rag or brush, 
which does the work rapidly and effectually. 

To darken cherry, rub it over with nitric acid of 1.2 specific gravity, 
and after permitting it to stand for twelve hours, wash and dry thor- 
oughly. Nitric acid gives a permanent yellow stain, which may be 
converted into dark brown by subsequent application of tincture of 
iodine. 

A hot, concentrated solution of picric acid gives a very fine yellow 
effect. Aquafortis, diluted with three times its own weight of rain 
water, brushed over the wood, gives a more true yellow effect than 
the undiluted nitric acid (aquafortis). 

A bright golden yellow stain is made by digesting one-half ounce of 
powdered madder for twelve hours in two ounces of sulphuric acid 
and then filtering through cloth. The articles to be stained should be 
immersed in the fluid for three or four days. 

— say- 
How to Prepare Color, or Paint, that Will Not Crack or Peel Off Rub- 
ber Cloth of Carriage Tops. 

Make a mixture of one gallon best body finishing varnish and one- 
quarter-pound yellow country beeswax that has been dissolved by 
heat (in a water bath) in one pint of pure spirits of turpentine. Be- 
fore mixing the two, the varnish should be placed in a tin can which 
is also warmed up in hot water, so as to iTiake the solution of bees- 
wax and turpentine amalgamate more intimately with the varnish. 
Now break up two pounds of drop black, ground in japan or rubbing 
varnish with enough spirits of turpentine, then gradually, while con- 
stantly stirring, add the mixture of finishing varnish and beeswax so- 
lution. If this does not flow out well from under the brush, add more 
turpentine until it does. As a matter of course, before this preparation 
is applied the rubber must be well cleansed by sponging with soap and 
water, rinsed with clear water, dried with a chamois skin and allowed 
to dry thoroughly afterward. If any other color than black is desired, 
mix in a similar manner as that above given, changing proportions to 
suit the nature of pigment composing the color employed. 



T39 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 221 

— 538 — 

Size for Rough Plastered Wall that Will Prevent Water Colors from 

Spotting Out. 

The best cheap size for plastered walls that are to be painted in 
water color is made as follows : 

Dissolve in five gallons of boiling water twelve ounces of sal soda 
and four ounces of borax, then, when the crystals are fully dissolved, 
add, while stirring, one pound of window glass rosin> that has been 
dissolved in eight ounces of benzine, boil all until the rgsin is dissolvea. 
Thin one pound of the resulting composition with three and three- 
fourths gallons of soft water and mix the solution so made with a so- 
lution made by dissolving two pounds of glue in four gallons soft water 
and boil the two solutions together for thirty minutes, then run 
thrbugh a paint strainer. 

Or you may use so-called suction varnish or wall varnish, which is 
sold at a low price for this very purpose by many varnish makers. 
Soap and alum size is not the proper material for rough plastered walls 
and a coat of boiled linseed oil is preferable by far. ^ 

— 539 — 

How to Make Aquarium Cement or Putty. 

The best cement for this purpose has been used with success for 
many years at the Zoological Gardens, London, and consists of the 
following: One-half pint by measure each of finely powdered litharge, 
fine, white, dry sand and plaster of paris, and one gill of finely pow- 
dered rosin are intimately mixed with boiled linseed oil and some paste 
drier and beaten thoroughly into a putty-like mass, which is allowed to 
stand about four hours before it is used. But it must not be allowed 
to stand over twelve hours, as by that time it begins to lose strength. 
This putty will resist b6th fresh and salt water. It is best, however, 
not to use the tank or aquarium for two or three days. 

Klein gives the following as a good cement for aquariums: Mix 
equal parts by measure of sublimed sulphur, pulverized sal ammoniac 
and finest iron filings with a strong boiled linseed oil, then add enough 
dry white lead to make an easy working putty. Still another formula 
is to take six parts by weight of boiled whiting, three parts by weight 
of plaster of paris, three parts by weight of dry white beach sand, three 
parts by weight of fine litharge, one part by weight of powdered rosin 
and mix these ingredients with best coach varnish. We, however, do 
not recommend the use of this last formula, as we cannot see the ad- 
vantage of using rosin in connection with coach varnish. 

— 540 — 

Flowing on Varnish or Enamel Paints. 

Flowing on is the opposite of brushing out, and means that the var- 
nish or paint is to be applied in a heavy coat and not crossed or re- 
crossed more than is necessary, so as to give the material an oppor- 
tunity to level itself to a mirror-like surface. 



222 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

— 541 — 

What Is Roughstuff and What Is It Used For? 

Roughstuff is used by the carriage painter, the car painter and to 
some extent by those that paint and ornament very fine machinery. 
Its mission is to give an even, uniformly hard surface that may be 
rubbed down with pumice stone and water to a level on which the or- 
namenting color and finishing varnishes will stand out like a mirror. 
It is made in various ways, but here are a few of the most common for- 
mulas : Equal parts by weight of Reno's filler and keg white lead are 
mixed with enough quick rubbing varnish and coach japan, equal parts, 
to make a mediums stiff paste, which is thinned with spirits of turpen- 
tine to brushing consistency. Or two pounds keg white lead and five 
pounds English filler are mixed with equal parts best rubbing varnish 
and coach japan to a stiff paste and thinned with turpentine for the 
brush. 

— 54a — 

Making Water Colors by the Painter. 

It would be a waste of time and of little or no benefit to our readers 
to give formulas or describe the process of making water colors when 
they can be bought much cheaper from the manufacturer who prepares 
them on a large scale. Assuming that the painter has a mill in his 
shop, will he be able to buy his raw materials on a small scale as 
cheaply as the manufacturer, and how much labor and inconvenience 
must he put himself to until he can produce the product as fine as the 
color grinder, with his up-to-date mill ? Most of the colors are in the 
pulp state at the color works and need not be dried, but can be put on 
the mills direct, making a saving in cost, while the painter is obliged 
to buy the color in the dry state, then to mix and soak it in water and 
finally grind it to impalpable fineness. Where is the economy? 

— 543 — 

Enamel Suitable for Interior Woodwork. . 

If the interior enamels offered by paint manufacturers do not give 
you the satisfaction desired, then purchase strictly pure French zinc 
ground in damar varnish, which any reputable paint house can sup- 
ply you with, and beat the paste with a little turpentine to the con- 
sistency of a medium thick batter, then reduce it with sufficient white 
damar varnish to make it like a varnish of good body. This is for all 
gloss finish. Should you desire, however, to moss or, hair the surface 
in order to obtain a velvety finish, you will have to use a high grade 
white enamel varnish, which is rather high in price. At all events, 
if you wish your enamel to work and look well, you must prepare your 
foundation coats accordingly. 

-544- 
Repainting of a Dwelling and Roof on Which Paint Has Scaled Badly. 

A house that had been painted over several times with diflFerent 
paints, had scaled so badly that the scales roll up in curls, especially 
on the roof. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 223 

The proper thing to do is to scrape off all the scales and loose paint 
and burn oflf the rest, wherever it can be done with safety to the house. 
We assume that the roof is laid in shingles and that you cannot well 
burn the paint off here. Scrape off all the loose paint and then go over 
the surface with raw linseed oil, which will loosen all the paint that 
would scale later on. When the raw oil has softened the old paint, 
scrape off all that will come off and allow the rest to remain there. 
When the raw oil has become well absorbed and hard, before apply- 
ing the moss green, give a coat of pure white lead, tinted lead color 
with lampblack and thinned with raw linseed oil and a little japan, 
and rub it in well. 

On this your moss green paint, if made well, will stand for years 
and no more scaling or rolling up wift take place. 

The fall of the year is the best for repainting, because the paint 
will have an opportunity to become firm before the next hot summer 
season is upon us again. 

— S4S — 

The Cause of the Pitting of Varnish. 

A veteran in the varnish business describes pitting as presenting 
innumerable pinholes in varnished surfaces, and the causes as mani- 
fold. Change of the atmosphere from dry to damp ; mixing of varnishes 
of different quafity or different manufacture ; excessive heat or exces- 
sive cold ; varnishing over fillers, colors or varnish coats that are not 
hard enough, or over varnishes that sweat; varnishing when floors 
are excessively wet or in cold or damp shops or rooms; application 
of cold varnish on warm surfaces or vice versa, and last, but not least, 
application of varnish in shops that have insufficient ventilation. When 
a varnisher keeps his brushes in a mixture of oil and turpentine he may 
expect that his varnished surface will become spotted. Pitting or spot- 
ting may also be expected when varnish is used clean to the bottom of 
the package or when it has been exposed to very cold atmosphere and 
has not been kept in a warm room prior to use. 

— 546 — 

The Cause of Mold or EfHorescence on Brick Walls. 

Moldy patches came out on brickwork having a northern exppsure, 
that had been painted the year before. 

There seems to be no reasonable doubt but that the brick work you 
refer to was either full of moisture before you painted it, or there is a 
leak in the roof, which allows moisture to get into the brick work back 
of your paint. 

The soluble salts in the mortar or in the brick itself become dissolved 
by the moisture and must work their way out somehow, and as they 
are hardly liable to work out through the plaster within, they are bound 
to come out through the paint. It is but reasonable to assume that on 
a northern exposure, where the sun never strikes, the wall was damp 
previous to being painted. There is no real effective method, and the 
best that can be done is to scrape off the paint wherever mold or ef- 
florescence is noted, and treat the surface to several washes of phos- 



224 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

phate of lime solution or phosphoric acid preferably, or dilute with sul- 
phuric acid, and, after rinsing and allowing the patches to dry out 
thoroughly, to repaint. This treatment will neutralize the soluble 
salts in cement or mortar as well as in brick. 

— 547 — 

How Shingle Stains May Be Made With Creosote. 

Very little experience is required to prepare or mix shingle stains, 
using creosote as a vehicle. Dry pigments, such as mineral red and 
brown, ocher (yellow or red), Vandyke brown, burnt or raw umber^ 
burnt or raw sienna, lampblack, zinc white, etc., may be employed 
either singly or in combination as tKe staining material. The pigments 
must be in powdered form, impalpably fine and bone dry and are'sprin- 
kled into creosote oil while it is agitated by stirring. For dipping pur- 
poses less pigment is to be employed than when the stain is applied 
with the brush. A simple method of mixing the stains is to take oil 
paint of the requisite color, thin the paste as it should be for outside 
surface, then add as much creosote oil as there is paint and it is ready 
for use. 

— 548 — 

Bronzing Liquid for Exterior Work and Bronze that Will Not Tarnish. 

The questioner had used banana oil, but it rubbed off. Something 
was wanted that could be used on a band wagon. 

Your banana oil did not contain enough binding material. It is 
pear oil or amylacetate, in which is dissolved a small portion of cellu- 
loid which acts as a binder and hardener. No doubt the commercial 
article is sometimes sophisticated, which may be the reason that it did 
not give you the results desired. Dry bronzes, composed of copper, 
brass and tin, are very easily affected by exposure to the weather, ani 
also by the nature of the size, which may act on the alloy, tending to 
greening or blacking off. Our advice is that you use as a size a mix- 
ture of one-third of a first class extra light hard oil finish or a high grade 
extra pale coach varnish and two-thirds pure spirits of turpentine with 
French gold leaf bronze, using a camel's hair brush. Mix only very 
little at a time, because it dries up quickly. 

Aluminum leaf bronze will do the work for silver effects. When 
striping or lettering in bronze, it is well to take the extra precaution 
of applying a coat of very thin white shellac varnish over the bronzed 
parts before applying the finishing varnish. 

Should you be unable to obtain the French gold leaf bronze powder, 
you can prepare it yourself by grinding genuine gold leaf in a mor- 
tar with honey until all the leaves are broken up and minutely divided. 
Remove the mixture from the mortar with a spatula and stir up in a 
clean dish or basin with water, which will dissolve the honey. Leave 
the dish undisturbed until the gold subsides, pour off the liquid and 
repeat the operation until all the honey is washed out, collect the gold 
on a filter and allow to dry, when it is ready for use. 



r 



7J9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 22s 

— 549 — 

Preparation of Sienna by Xrevigalion and Calcination. 

The raw sienna is ground in water on buhr stone mills into a series 
of floating tubs, the deposit in the tank nearest the mill or mills usually 
containing the sand or grit that is undesirable. The pigment in the 
farthest tanks is allowed to settle and the water drawn off. The set- 
tled portion is allowed to drain on muslin, stretched over large frames, 
and when nearly dry it is placed in a furnace or retort and calcined at 
low heat until it has acquired the desired color, when it is allowed to 
cool and the lumps are crushed by running them through a set of roll- 
ers or a pulverizing machine. When the material is naturally fine and 
free from grit, ordinary grinding is sufficient and levigation unneces- 
sary, but in all cases the raw sienna earth should be powdered in order 
to make calcination uniform. For calcining sienna, almost any sort 
of furnace may be used, but the best results are obtained from muffle 
furnaces, and the heat should be a low red, which will usually convert 
the raw material into burnt sienna in from six to eight hours. By 
using a low red heat the product retains more tinting power than by 
employing a higher and quicker heat. ' 

— 550 — 

Good Mixtures for Dipping Purposes for Articles of Hard Wood. 

In order to make a good aud durable job, your priming dip should 
consist of pure white lead, either left white or tinted with such oil 
colors as will give you the tint or effect desired. To do good work,, 
make your priming dip by breaking up ten pounds of lead in oil, so- 
called keg lead, with one pint of liquid turpentine drier, allowing this. 
to stand over night or at least a few hours, then thin to dipping con- 
sistency by adding gradually, while stirring, five pints of pure spirits- 
of turpentine, which will give you a full gallon of a first-class priming 
dip that will dry in from eight to ten hours hard enough for handling 
and second coating. If required to be tinted, break up your oil colors 
in japan and thin the same with turpentine. Put both white and color 
through a paint strainer before using the dip, in order to prevent par- 
ticles of skin from lodging on the dipped work. For cheap work the 
turpentine may be replaced with naphtha. For the second coat or 
finishing dip, it is not advisable to use pure lead alone, because the 
priming dip of pure lead is elastic enough to permit of a combination 
of lead and zinc to be employed. There are two ways to obtain good 
results. The best of these is to use equal parts of keg lead and pure- 
zinc white in oil, breaking them up in a pale coach japan or liquid 
drier and thinning the soft paste so obtained with pure spirits of tur- 
pentine, so that this dip will dry with eggshell gloss or almost flat,, 
when it may be finished with varnish. Here, too, the turpentine for 
thinning may be replaced with naphtha for the cheaper grade of work- 
Seven and one-half pounds of keg lead and an equal weight of zinc 
white in oil, one pint of coach japan and three pints of turpentine will 
make one gallon of this dip. Another method, which is more economi- 
cal, because it will save the varnish coat, but not nearly so durable, is 
to grind in paint mill one part by weight of dry white lead and two 



226 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

parts by weight of zinc white in equal parts of boiled linseed oil and 
gold size or coach japan to a medium paste with the required coloring 
matter, then thin the paste v/ith enough pure spirits of turpentine to 
bring it to the consistency of thick cream and reduce with a like quan- 
tity, by measure, of a good mixing varnish. If it does not drip freely 
enough or does not produce a high enough gloss, add more varnish. 

— 551 — 

Formula for Making Oil Gold Size — ^Also Gold Size for Burnished and 

Distemper Gilding. 

Oil gold size can be made in many ways. For commercial purposes 
the simplest method is to place boiled linseed oil in a suitable pot and 
boil at a gentle heat to the point of ignition, then set fire to it and let 
it burn until it becomes thick and put on a cover to extinguish the 
flames. Strain through silk and thin to proper consistency with oil of 
turpentine. A little medium chrome yellow or yellow ocher, ground 
very fine in oil, should now be added. 

Another somewhat quicker oil gold size is prepared by heating lin- 
seed oil to the boiling point and, under continual stirring, finely pul- 
verized gum animi is added and the boiling continued until all the 
gum is dissolved. When the mixture has attained the consistency ot 
thick molasses, which can be ascertained by taking out a sample every 
once in a while and dropping it on a piece of glass, it is strained 
through coarse cheesecloth. It should be thinned with oil of turpen- 
tine, so that it flows from the pencil, and a small quantity of finely 
ground chrome yellow or vermilion in oil may be added to give proper 
color. 

Burnished gold size or gold size for distemper gilding is made by 
dissolving parchment or isinglass in water and adding yellow ocher 
that has been ground to the utmost fineness in water. 

— 552 — 

Gilding a Dome With Gold Leaf — Best Size and Method of La3ring 

the Leaf. 

You should have stated what the dome to be gilded consists of, 
whether it is made of wood or metal, and if the latter, what does the 
metal consist of; in other words, is it iron, tin, copper or brass? To 
take the leaf well, the surface should be primed and the priming de- 
pends very much on the character of the material. If the surface of 
the dome is wood, apply several coats of paint, until a perfectly smooth 
surface is had, but let the last coat be flat, so that it may be sand- 
papered and that the size may hold well without crawling or wrink- 
ling. For metal of any kind, cleanse well, then apply several coats 
or flat paint, rubbing down the last coat to a smooth finish with hair 
and pumice. Then apply fat oil gold size and when this has set up 
sufficiently, lay your leaf in the usual manner, but, to avoid loss from 
blowing away, use the patent gold leaf, now prepared for that pur- 
pose, which will save you the trouble of greasing the leaf, which had 
to be done by the painters of "ye olden" times. Lay your leaf from 
the book^ and burnish with a cotton wad. You can prepare your fat 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 227 

oil gold size by using the oldest linseed oil you can find, mixing it with 
a trifle of medium chrome yellow that has been ground fine in oil, and 
if you wish to hasten its becoming tacky, add a tablespoonful of gold 
size japan to one-half pint of the oil. Good elastic gold size that will 
remain elastic for a century may be made by boiling one quart of raw 
linseed oil with one-half ounce of soda until the oil thickens into soft 
soap-like consistency under constant stirring. 

When nearly cool, it is. mixed with a similar quantity of raw linseed 
oil well aged and thinned with enough turpentine to make it flow nicely 
from brush or pencil. A trifle of chrome yellow is added for gold size, 
or a little white lead tinted with lampblack for aluminum leaf size. 

— 553 — 

Spreading Capacity of Shellac Varnish and Other Varnishes. 

Shellac varnish will cover smooth, finished white pine 400 square feet 
to the gallon, first coat, and 500 square feet for each succeeding coat, 
while interior varnishes, such as furniture varnish or hard oil varnish, 
will spread over 350 to 400 square feet of surface on first coat, 500 
square feet on second coat and close on 600 square feet for third coat 
per gallon. On hard wood that has been properly filled it will cover 
from 50 to 75 square feet more for each coat than on white wood or 
white pine that has not been treated with filler. 

— 554 — 

How to Prepare Copper on Outside Work. 

It is not very clear to us whether you wish to prepare copper to 
receive paint or to imitate copper with paint on baser metal. If you 
simply wish to know how to make oil paint adhere to copper or other 
metal, as, for instance, brass, we can recommend a wash with a- solu- 
tion of sulphate of copper, slightly acidulated with nitric acid, which 
will roughen the metal so that paint which is not too oily will adhere 
firmly and will not peel or powder off. 

To make a copper paint, precipitate metallic copper out of any solu- 
tion of a copper salt by introducing scrap iron into the liquid. After 
drying the precipitate, mix and grind it with linseed oil and japan. 

To paint portions of the front of a building in imitation of antique 
copper or bronze, apply a ground color made from white lead, chrome 
yellow, burnt umber and Venetian red to resemble dirty copper, and 
have it nearly flat, then apply copper bronze mixed with good spar or 
outside varnish and thinned with turps. Then apply a glaze of best 
verdigris, ground fine in varnish and thinned with turpentine to dry 
with eggshell gloss, or, if you do not like the greenish effect, use raw 
umber, ground and thinned in similar manner. Before the glaze has 
an opportunity to set hard, wipe out the high lights, making a very 
pretty effect. 

— 555- 

Material for Making Stencils for Lettering on Freight Cars. 

If you do not care to make your stencils out of sheet zinc, try a piece 
of opaque window shade cloth, which you can stretch and tack on to a 



228 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

wooden frame of suitable size. You will find that this is much stronger 
and will not buckle. Give it a coat or two of shellac. 

Stencils for car lettering may also be made by using two outer sheets 
of light manila drawing paper and an inner sheet of muslin, put to- 
gether with flour paste and flattened between boards that are clamped 
together by means of hand screws. These stencils will last for years. 
Oil board, such as is used in copying presses, with cheese cloth fast- 
ened on one side by means of shellac, has also been recommended. 

— 556 — 

Venetian Red Paint for Use on Shingle Roofs That WQl Not Fade or 

Turn Black Under Severe Exposure. 

Although many efforts have been made to produce such a paint as 
our correspondent desires, they have all met with failure. If oxide of 
iron paints fade it is due to the diluting mineral base that is used to 
cheapen them. If they turn white, it is due to inferior oil being em- 
ployed in their makeup. If strong in oxide of iron and ground in and 
thinned with pure linseed oil and oil driers, they will invariably turn 
dark, because of the action of the oxide of iron on the oil. In the pres- 
ence of moisture at night and strong exposure to sun in the daytime, 
such paints will alternately soften and harden, and these sudden 
changes tend to destroy their binding properties and allow mildew to 
obtain a hold. 

We do not know of anything better than to thin down a paste Vene- 
tian red, bought from reputable manufacturers, with pure raw linseed 
oil and a turpentine drier, adding as much turpentine as it will permit, 
allowing the first coat to dry flat on the shingles, if new, and to apply 
a second coat as thin as possible that will stand out with semi-gloss. 
A shingle roof should look flat, but the sun and the moisture will soon 
destroy the gloss and the roof will look just right. This is the best 
advice we can impart. 

— 557 — 

How to Obtain Verd Antique Effects. 

The architects' specifications called for the grille work on the out- 
side of windows and doors to receive two coats of graphite paint, the 
final finish to be verd antique. 

There are two kinds of verd antique effects. One is a term given to 
a green incrustation on metal, such as brass or copper, which consists 
of hydrated dicarbonate of copper. The second is a mottled green, 
serpentine marble, also a green porphyry, called Oriental verd antique. 

If the architect in specifying meant the first effect — that is, the imi- 
tation of incrustation or patina — the simplest method is to triturate 
carbonate of copper with sandarac varnish. The iron grill work is 
first coated with the required coats of graphite, which must not be too 
glossy, and one coat of dead flat black paint, over which the mixture 
of carbonate of copper and varnish is applied. When this has dried, it 
may be second coated in certain places, to make the antique effect more 
j>ronounced. 

Should the effect desired be that of verd antique marble, the ground 
must be black, as before, and the grain colors white, yellow ocher and 



729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 229 

bluish green. The tools required are earners hair fitches, blender and 
sponge. Large flakes of white are scrambled in with the sponge and 
blended. Trace in the other tints in veins, large and heavy in irregu- 
lar circles. Blend softly. 

The grain colors should be ground in oil and thinned with part tur- 
pentine and the necessary drier. To do this work in proper style re- 
quires an expert grainer., 

— 558 — 

How Many Colors Are in the Rainbow? 

The rainbow is a spectrum of colors that is formed by the refraction 
of the sunlight during its passage through the drops of water in a 
shower of rain. There are seven positive colors named as constituting 
the spectrum, be it a rainbow or be it produced by a beam of white 
light passed through the edges of a triangular prism, and Sir Isaac 
Newton, the discoverer of this property of white light, named these 
colors as fellows : Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet ; 
but there is no distinctly marked line of division between these seven 
colors, as they pass insensibly into one another from red down. 

— 559 — 

Best Method for Removing Smalts from Old Signs. 

The best and most practical method for removing smalts from old 
signs is to take a hatchet with a rather blunt cutting edge, holding the 
handle with the left hand and the hammer end with the right hand, 
pushing the hatchet from you. This lends greater force to the work- 
man and is not liable to dig into the wood. The use of corrugated rub- 
bing brick and water is altogether too slow and unsatisfactory, while 
the use of potash, etc., will raise the grain of the wood. 

— 560 — 

Stains in Plastered Walls That Are to Be Coated with Kalsomine. 

Certain new plastered walls are dry, but show stains all over. The 
specifications say no size of any kind is to be used on the walls, and 
provide for only one coat of kalsomine to make them an even and uni- 
form white. 

If the walls are stained, it is next to impossible to keep the stains 
back with one coat of kalsomine, at least we have never even attempted 
it. Of course, it depends very much on the nature of the stains and 
whether there is any dampness in the wall. A wall may appear dry 
and hard and yet there may be dampness behind the plaster. You 
might make your kalsomine a little richer in glue than usual ; say use 
one pound of glue to fifteen pounds of whiting, instead of one pound 
glue to twenty pounds of whiting, or increase the proportion of glue 
even more, but the glue must be good and white, or you have no show 
whatever. 

You might possibly succeed by making your kalsomine from freshly 
calcined plaster and white glue, thinned with hot water, because this 
will stand out whiter when it becomes dry than that made from whit- 
ing. In this case the plaster must be very finely powdered, or the job 



230 , 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

will not be smooth enough. But success is not assured unless size is 
used, and a glue, soap and alum size is, next to hard oil finish, the 
best for the purpose. Half a pound of good white glue, half a pound 
of white soap and one pound alum is the proper proportions for such 
size, each article dissolved separately in hot water and mixed while 
still hot. 

-S6i- 
Painting on Silk, Satin, Shirting or Linen. 

The principal object to be obtained in preparing the fabric is to 
take care that the stuff does not become too brittle from painting upon 
it, and this is prevented by using the colors as flat as possible, so that 
the material does not strike in the fabric too much. In order to stop 
the colors fromi coming through on the other side, a size made from 
four parts of gelatine and ten parts of water, with from ten to twenty 
drops of glycerine added to each quarter pint of the gelatine and water 
solution should be applied on shirting or linen over all the design, while 
on silk or satin only the outlines of the design should be sized. The 
size must be dry to the touch before painting is begun. Tube colors 
in oil are best suited for the purpose, and several applications are re- 
quired to bring out the effect properly. The colors must be as free 
from oil as possible, especially on the first coat. To make the colors 
less oily, extract some of the oil from the color by placing it on blot- 
ting paper for a short time. Use brushes or pencils with bristles as 
short as possible, and trim these to suit. If any part of the painted 
surface should be matt, go over it with a good, pale coach varnish of 
the proper elasticity. For large surfaces it is best to draw as much of 
the oil from the colors as possible, and add to the color a little heavy 
painters' varnish and enough turpentine to make it flow freely from 
brush or pencil. For sizing silk or satin that is not exposed to damp- 
ness, one part of white of tgg and two parts water will answer very 
well. 

— 562 — 
Practical Method of Painting on Velvet and Similar Fabrics. 

There is a very simple method which can be handled in such a man- 
ner that neither fabric nor the painting will be injured. First trim a 
small fitch with a pair of scissors, so that the bristles are not over one- 
eighth of an inch in length ; make it round at the point. Use oil colors 
in collapsible tubes and place the color on blotting paper, so that some 
of the oil may be soaked up and the color be quite stiff. Then, after 
having stamped your design on thevelvet, dip your brush in the color 
and proceed to comb the nap of the velvet with it. The depth of color 
depends on the number of times you have applied the brush in the 
manner described, as the combing of the nap with the brush simply 
stains the nap and leaves it flexible and therefore more durable than 
by any other method. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 231 

— 563 — 

Coating the Backs of Mirrors with Quicksilver. 

This is a difficult operation, and requires a great deal of practice. 
Remove the old amalgam by rubbing it off with very fine powdered 
pumice and water, and rinse the glass thoroughly in clear water, and 
when dry rub with tissue paper. Lay a piece of tin foil (not lead foil) 
on a perfectly flat surface, and pour mercury over it to the depth of 
one-eighth of an inch. Slide the glass over it, so as to bring a new 
surface of amalgam against the glass, then leave it a while under pres- 
sure and set on edge to drain. ^ 

— 564 — 

Formulas for Making Pale and Brown Japan Driers. 

Formulas were wanted for white japan drier that will not make 
white paint dry out pink, and a brown japan that will dry paint when 
one gallon of the liquid is mixed with thirty gallons of paint. 

Your proposition is a difficult one, if you wish one gallon of japan 
to dry thirty gallons of oil paint within twenty-four hours in all sorts 
of weather. 

We will give you some formulas which you may try, but will not 
guarantee success. To make a pale or so-called white japan, fuse at 
a moderate temperature 100 pounds palest rosin, W. G. or W. W., 
with 10 pounds litharge and 5 pounds white sugar of lead, and do not 
let it become discolored to any extent. Then add four gallons of well- 
settled, clarified linseed oil and boil at low heat until ,the mass be- 
comes stringy, and when a small sample is placed on a slab of glass 
it must become at once brittle and hard on cooling. Take from fire and 
thin with about twenty-five gallons pure spirits of turpentine. 

In order to keep this drier from giving a pink effect to white paint, 
avoid the use of manganese in any form. 

To make a strong brown japan, fuse at high temperature 100 pounds 
ordinary rosin with 15 pounds red lead, 15 pounds litharge, and 3 
pounds finely powdered black manganese oxide and add 6 gallons of 
boiled linseed oil, previously heated, which mixture boil together until 
a sample taken will dry brittle on cooling when placed on a glass slab. 
Take from fire and when sufficiently cooled off, yet still warm and liquid, 
thin down with about 30 gallons of spirits of turpentine or equal tur- 
pentine and benzine, adding the turpentine first, so as to avoid too 
great a loss. 

— 565 — 

How Golden Oak Finish Is Made. 

You must remember that you cannot produce a really good golden 
oak finish unless the wood you are staining is either white or red oak 
and has the proper grain. On these woods you use a good paste wood 
filler colored with burnt umber, then stain the wood with a mixture 
of, say, one pound burnt Turkey umber in oil and one pint of turpen- 
tine asphaltum varnish, thinned with one-half pint best brown japan 
and turpentine to the consistency of very thin varnish. Apply this to 
the wood with a bristle varnish brush and when the stain has set take 



232 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

a cloth and wipe out the high lights and allow to dry, then varnish. 
Should you wish to imitate golden oak finish on close grained woods, 
you will have to give a ground of tinted lead, same as for dark oak 
graining, and fix the high lights with shellac varnish. The graining 
color is made from burnt umber and asphaltum varnish, with a little 
raw umber and a trifle of chrome yellow. The high lights that have 
been marked with shellac varnish are wiped out and the whole surface 
is combed. It requires a study of the natural oak and its grain to ac- 
complish the work properly. The finishing coats of varnish give the 
final touch to the work, and if these are rubbed and polished some 
very fine and fanciful effects can be obtained even in imitations. 

— 566 — 

Putty for Light Woods That Are to Be Finished in the Natural. 

For this kind of work the regular glazier's putty will not answer, 
as it cannot be colored to make clear tints. Use white lead putty, made 
by mixing and kneading three parts of finely sifted dry white lead and 
one part of bolted whiting with boiled linseed oil to a stiff mass, which 
is stained with a little raw sienna for pine lumber, yellow ocher for oak, 
raw and burnt sienna for cherry, burnt sienna for mahogany, burnt 
sienna and burnt umber for walnut, and raw umber for antique oak. 
With this the nailholes, etc., are puttied up, after the wood has been 
filled and before any varnish has been applied. Surplus putty is re- 
moved with the edge of the putty knife, taking care not to dig into 
the wood. To make a smooth job of puttying, go over it whh a piece 
of fine sandpaper. For a hurried job, add some japan to the boiled lin- 
seed oil when preparing the putty. 

— 567 — 

Blistering and Checkering of Varnish on Boats. 

Some boats that had been varnished, blistered, checked and turned 
white after having been in the water but a few days. 

The best thing you can do, if you desire to refinish the boats in the 
natural, is to procure a good varnish remover and give the boats a fair 
opportunity to dry out well after you have removed all of the old var- 
nish. Then get your supply house to furnish you with a varnish 
that they can guarantee will stand water without turning white, and 
apply several co^ts of it, permitting each coat to thoroughly dry be- 
fore applying another. Your failure was evidently due either to the 
boats being water logged or to the varnish being of too inferior a qual- 
ity for the purpose. 

Should you, however, desire to paint the boats, we would advise you 
to burn off the old varnish and use a paint with a lead and zinc basis 
and hold it flat, if you wish to finish with varnish. 

— 568 — 

Japans and Driers for Various Purposes. 

For zinc white in poppyseed oil we would suggest the use of white 
coach japan, if the rooms are to be done in gloss finish, but if the fin- 
ish is to be flat we should recommend the use of paste drier. For the 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 233 

<irying of oil paints to be used on the exterior of buildings and for 
porch floors, in fact for all outside work, we would suggest the use 
of a pure oil drier that is free from rosin or gum of any kind, and that 
does not contain benzine. As a drier for oil paints to be used on in- 
terior floors, a good, strong brown turpentine japan will give the best 
satisfaction. 

— 569 — 

Is the Quality of Linseed Oil Impaired When Exposed to Freezing 

T^emperatures? 

Yes, temporarily, but not permanently. The point at which pure 
linseed oil freezes is minus 27.5 deg. C.= i8 deg. below zero 
F. It is apt to become turbid, however, when exposed to a tempera- 
ture below the freezing point of water, viz., 32 deg. F. In any state 
between this point and that of its own freezing point, linseed oil, raw 
or boiled, is not in good condition to be used as a thinner for paint, and 
should not be so employed without being warmed up to a temperature 
of between 60 and 75 deg. F., otherwise it will not mix well and make 
the paint appear seedy or grainy. 

Even if the oil has become congealed by frigid ten^peratures it has 
lost none of its valuable properties when warmed up to a normal tem- 
perature, so long as it was pure and fairly free from foots and moisture 
originally. 

— 570 — 

Blistering of Oil Paint After Repeatedly Burning Off and Repainting. 

A New Jersey painter had a queer experience with the blistering of 
certain portions of the surface on the same dwelling. He first painted 
the house in 1888 with pure lead, French ocher, linseed oil, some turps 
and a little japan, giving the job three coats. The paint wore well for 
five and one-half years, with the exception of a little blistering on 
south side of house under water tables, corner boards and a few 
weatherboards. At that time he burned off the paint and sandpapered 
the surface, giving it two coats of practically the same paint as he did 
in the first instance. In 1899 he was obliged to burn off blistered 
paint at the same places as" before, only a little more extended. Two 
months after repainting, blistering began again in the same spots and 
also on several other parts of the house. In the summer of 1902, he 
burned off the paint and again repainted and the blistering became 
worse than ever. On cutting some of the blisters, fine yellow streaks 
were found underneath. 

From the detailed description given of the mixing of the various 
coats of paiint, and the various brands used, we are satisfied that the 
material was good and that the blistering was not caused by applying 
the paint too stout, as is sometimes the case when oil paint blisters 
afterward. Nor do we believe that it is caused by sap in the wood, as 
the fine yellow streaks under the blisters may be caused by rusty nails. 
We are rather inclined to believe that it is caused bv moisture behind 
the weather boards and corner boards, and the moisture miav find its 
way there from imperfection in the roof or from dampness in the 
ground or foundation. A rigid examination of the roof and gutters, 



234 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

probably the tearing away of a portion of the corner boards and 
weather boards may reveal the cause of the trouble, for it is hardly 
probable that after so many burnings oflf of paint sap would be still 
retained. 

— S7I — 

Spots on Varnished Surface Caused by Steam — How to Remove the 

Same. 

We do not know of any better method than to rub over the spots 
with French chalk moistened with grain alcohol until they lose the 
white color, then clean off with tepid water and dry with a silken cloth 
or chamois skin. After this, polish with rotten stone and sweet oil. 
If the spots are caused only by the condensation of the steam, this 
will remedy the defects, but should the varnish be blistered then it will 
have to be removed and the work done anew from the wood up. 

— 572 — 

How Cast Iron and Polished Steel May Be Bronzed. 

After thorough cleansing of the cast iron articles, immerse them 
over night in a saturated solution of sulphate of copper and they will 
acquire that color. When coated, they must be well washed in clear 
water. To bronze polished steel put into a large enough bottle one 
quart methylated spirits, eight ounces g^m shellac and one ounce gum 
benzoin. Set the bottle in a warm place and shake the bottle occa- 
sionally. When dissolved, decant the clear liquid and strain the bal- 
ance. Mix the varnish to suit with finely powdered dry bronze green, 
varying the color to suit with yellow ocher and lampblack. Apply the 
mixture, after warming the articles, in two coats. 

— 573 — 

Slow Drying of Venetian Red After Grinding in Pure Linseed Oil. 

Manufacturers of colors in oil, etc., through experience gained by 
long practice and through study of the action of pigments on linseed 
oil, employ very little raw linseed oil in grinding' colors and select 
raw, bleached, refined or boiled linseed oil, as suits the nature of the 
pigment. For instance, burnt Turkey umber should be ground in raw 
linseed oil", because this pigment is in itself an active drier from its 
large percentage of oxide of manganese, while bone black, which does 
not exert any drying influence on the oil, should be ground in boiled 
linseed oil. Red oxides of iron and Venetian reds exert no influence 
whatever upon the drying action of linseed oil, and under certain con- 
ditions, such as dampness, when being mixed for grinding, these pig- 
ments are very apt to retard the drying quality of oil. 

There are, of course, other conditions, such as moisture or impuri- 
ties in raw linseed oil, that will delay the drying of colors. You can 
overcome the defect mentioned by selecting either a strong drying 
boiled linseed oil or well settled raw linseed oil, free from foots and 
moisture, to which you can add, say, 5 per cent, of a good oil drier for 
grinding your Venetian red, but always see that your pigment 
IS as nearly bone dry as it can possibly be. As you do not grind for 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 235 

the trade and do not put up large quantities for stock,you can well 
afford to add some driers to your raw linseed oil for grinding inert or 
slow drying pigments. 

— 574 — 

Will Plastering Inside of a House Make Paint Peel on the Outside? 

This depends very much on how long the outside has been painted, 
and on the material it has been painted with and how the timber is 
affected by the wet plaster. There is hardly any doubt but that the 
plastering had something to do with the throwing off of the paint. 
Blistering and peeling of paint can always be traced to moisture under- 
neath and the action of the sun upon it. 

— 575 — 

How to Finish Red Birch with Best Results. 

Paste filler may be used on black or red birch, but it is not an abso- 
lute necessity, as it is rather close grained. However, many wood 
finishers prefer to use paste filler, especially when the wood has been 
stained to imitate black walnut or mahogany. In such case a light 
paste filler is stained to suit and applied, instead of shellac. Two coats 
of shellac varnish without using a filler will bring the surface into 
first-class condition for a good polish. For a first-class job, stain the 
wood to suit the taste, give two coats of shellac varnish and finish with 
good interior or cabinet rubbing and polish. 

— 576 — 
Pyrographing on Wood and Leather. 

The process referred to is termed pyrography, and the work itself 
pyrographing. In practice, it is done by stamping the designs on wood 
or leather and burning in the outlines with needles or tools of various 
shapes, heated by electricity, while the amateur shapes pieces of steel 
wire to suit the work in hand, heating the same in the fire or gas fur- 
nace. A little genius, combined with practice, enables the amateur 
to turn out some pretty work in pyrography. 

— 577 — 

Clean Cut Stenciling in Sign Work. 

A sign painter had trouble in stenciling from the colors working in 
under the edges of the letters and 'making rough or blurred work. 
Paper stencils were used, shellacked on both sides and hinged on 
frames, so that one fills the breaks left by the other. The colors were 
used quite thick and applied with a large brush. 

Your method appears to be the proper one, paper stencils shellacked 
on both sides being best for the purpose. The letters, however, must 
be clean cut and well coated with shellac varnish and the paper strong 
and stout. But we think that you used your colors too oily and either 
stippled or worked them too forcibly. The best colors for this stencil 
work are those ground in japan, or at least ground in equal japan and 
turps, thinned with turps, but held fairly stout and applied with a 
No. 8-0 brush with a rotary motion, not stippling or rubbing in hard. 



236 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

m 

— 578 — 

Rosewood and Mahogany Graining Color in Distemper and Ground 

for Same. 

The ground for mahogany should be made by mixing yellow ocher 
and Venetian red, ground very fine in oil and thinned with turpentine, 
adding sufficient drier. It should dry flat and be applied thinly with 
flat bristle brushes, so as not to show brush marks, which are very 
aggravating to the grainer. Three thin coats are none too much for 
new wood, and far better than two stout coats. For rosewood, the 
ground should be made of medium or orange chrome yellow and dark 
Venetian red. Indian red should not be used, as the ground made 
with this pigment is too dull. 

As to graining colors in distemper, the grainers to the trade usually 
buy the various colors in water as suits their requirements. The water 
or distemper colors used in mahogany are burnt sienna and Vandyke 
brown, the latter being used to put in the darker veins. If the sienna 
is not rich enough, some crimson lake may be added. 

For rosewood, the colors are Vandyke brown, ivory black and rose 
pink, the basis of the color is Vandyke brown mixed with a little ivory 
black, the rose pink and the ivory black are mixed separately and 
streaked through the base color, then carefully blended. All of the 
colors can be had, ground finely in water. 

— 579 — 
How to Finish Oak in the Natural When High Polish Is Desired. 

The interior oak woodwork of a dwelling had been filled with paste 
filler and was to be varnished and polished. 

The filled surface should be first gone over with No. i or No. i 
sandpaper, so that all excess of filler is removed. This done, the wood- 
work in the room, as well as the floor, must be dusted, and the floor 
mopped up with a damp cloth, while the woodwork that is to be var- 
nished is gone over with a damp chamois skin, in order to remove all 
remaining traces of dust, so that they cannot settle elsewhere in the 
room, as is the case in dusting. Now a coat of white shellac varnish 
is applied, so as to seal up all pores in the wood that have not been 
perfectly sealed up by the filler, which will save two coats of rubbing 
varnish. This coat of shellac varnish should be allowed to stand about 
seven or eight hours, then lightly sandpaper with No. o sandpaper, 
and the surface dusted as before. On this, two coats of a first-class 
inside rubbing varnish should be sufficient to produce a good surface 
for rubbing and polishing. Twenty-four hours between coats must be 
allowed, and the second coat should stand from forty-eight to seventy- 
two hours before the rubbing is proceeded with. The temperature of 
the room or rooms should not be below 70 deg. F. during the opera- 
tion. The material necessary for rubbing are powdered pumice stone 
O or F, water or rubbing oil and rubbing felt. The rubbing felt, wnich 
comes in thickness from one-fourth inch to two inches, is cut into pads 
of three by four inches (and for use on interior woodwork the half- 
inch thickness is best). It is dipped into the water or the oil and then 
into the powdered pumice and passed over the surface with the grain. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 237 

bearing lightly when nearing the ends or on edges of moldings, so as 
not to rub through to the wood. When rubbing oil, which is a petro- 
leum product, is used, the oil and pumice must be removed quickly 
from the surface, so as not to allow it to soak into the varnish and 
soften it. When water is being employed, it does not matter so much 
as to the length of time when the pumice is removed. To ascertain 
when the surface has been sufficiently rubbed, wipe off a portion of 
the pumice and oil or water with a stroke of the palm of the hand, 
and if the pitted appearance of the varnish has vanished it may be 
taken for granted that the job is completed. When rubbing with 
water, it is best to clean off with clear water and sponge, using a cham- 
ois skin to wipe dry, but in oil rubbing soft cotton waste or soft cotton 
wadding is best. To polish this dead finish there are two ways, the 
quickest method being to take a handful of raw cotton, dip it into 
a mixture of equal parts of olive oil and alcohol and rub the job with 
a rotary motion until the desired luster is obtained. The slower 
method is to apply a coat of flowing cabinet varnish, giving it seventy- 
two hours' time, then rub with flower of pumice and water, wipe up 
carefully and polish with rotten stone and sweet oil, using chamois 
skin or silk cloth. 

— 580 — 

Cement Size or Wash for the Exterior of Bricks Concrete or Stone 

Walls. 

The cement is mixed with water, to which is added a portion of 
lime water and salt. The proper proportions are : One pint of lime water 
to seven pints of soft water and two ounces of salt. Enough cement is 
stirred in to make a paint of such consistency that it may be spread 
conveniently with a wall brush. If coloring be desired, add Venetian 
red in powdered form for red, mineral brown for brown, yellow ocher 
for buff and whiting for gray or slate color. Very good for new or 
damp walls. 

See also No. 608. 

-581- 
How to Stain a Violin. 

The staining and varnishing of violins is a special art and requires 
expert knowledge, if the tone of the wood is to be preserved. The 
wood must be stained before the varnish is applied and the stain should 
be made from camwood, logwood or eosin for red, for yellow from 
annato, aloes, gamboge or turmeric, using alcohol and water as the 
medium. By mixing red and yellow in various proportio^is, interme- 
diate effects may be obtained in the staining. The coloring matter 
is boiled in water and when cool the liquid is strained and a little alco- 
hol added to keep it in good condition. The stain is applied, allowed 
to set up and then wiped out with a soft cloth until the proper effect 
is had. If not deep enough, a second application is given. Before ap- 
plying the varnish, the stained surface is gone over with the very fin- 
est sandpaper. The varnish should be a spirit varnish, made by dis- 
solving 4 ounces of gum sandarac, 2 ounces pale gum shellac, i ounce 
gum mastic and 2 ounces benzoe r^sin in 32 ounces of 95 per cent. 



238 7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

grain alcohol, to which solution, when complete, 2 ounces clear Venice 
turpentine is added to make it flow fro mthe brush freely. To make 
an extra fine finish, each coat of varnish is rubbed lightly with flour of 
pumice and water. Three light coats of varnish are required until a 
surface fit for polishing is obtained. The last coat of varnish is pol- 
ished with rotten stone and sweet oil and finally by rubbing with the 
palm of the hand. 

— 582 — 

Gilding on Glass and the Effect of Moisture. 

The glass of a hall door was gilded in the early fall. It stood all 
right till cold, damp weather came on, when it began to sweat, which 
caused the leaf to loosen its hold on the glass, the moisture apparently 
working under the edges of the letters. A thick asphaltum was used 
for backing, applying two coats. Gum arabic size was used. 

We believe from your description that your backing did not cover 
the edges of the letters sufficiently to keep out the moisture. The 
thick asphaltum you employed is as good an article as can be had in 
that line, yet it might be better if uncjer the conditions you name a 
mixture of lampblack and best grade of coach varnish had been em- 
ployed, as this is known as a better backing than asphaltum for gilding 
on glass exposed to much sweating or to freezing. As for the size 
for gilding on glass. If your leaf came out spotted and cloudy with 
the gum arabic size the fault was probably in your not burnishing the 
leaf enough after the first layer. This should be done with refined 
cotton when dry, and a second coat of leaf laid, same as the first. When 
dry it should be gone over again with cotton lightly and then repeat- 
edly washed with the sizing. 

— 583 — 

Water Stain to Imitate Mahogany on Cherry or Birch Wood. 

The cheapest stain is made from Bismarck brown, and is made by 
dissolving two ounces of the powder in one gallon of boiling hot water 
and allowing it to cool, when it is ready for use. A stronger and red- 
der stain is made by boiling a quantity of logwood chips in twice its 
bulk of water for two hours, then strain and add a small quantity of 
chloride of tin until it is red enough. Apply two coats. 

A very brilliant rich stain is obtained by boiling 8 ounces of mad- 
der and 2 ounces logwood chips in 4 quarts of water. Brush this over 
the wood while hot. When dry, wash over with a solution of two 
drams of pearl ash in one quart of water. 

— 584 — 

Hanging Tapestry and Burlap for Wall Decorations and How to Treat 

Hard Walls for the Same. 

Hard finished walls are glue sized to receive burlap or tapestry, 
using one pound of good blue to six quarts of water. Any practical 
paper hanger that knows how to handle an edge knife can butt the 
edges like veneering. A true joint will remain so and will not open. 
Use a good, stiff paste, which is improved by adding two tablespoons- 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 239 

ful of Venice turpentine to a pail full of the paste while warm. • If 
cold, take some of the paste, warm it, stir in the Venice turpentine and 
then add it to the cold paste. Paste the edges well, roll down the 
joints with care and immediately sponge off with clean water, so that 
no trace of paste is left on the surface. The goods being shrunk 
in their manufacture, they must not be stretched, but pressed to a 
tight joint only, and it is only necessary to fill in the larger cracks in 
walls before hanging. Uneven edges and projections in the walls must 
be sandpapered or scraped off. 

No preparation is required after the goods are pasted on the wall, 
and they are ready for coloring, when so required, as .soon as the paste 
is dry. Should the wall be damp, give it a strong solution of hot alum 
and water, one pound of alum to a quart of water. When dry, dust 
the crystallized alum off the surface, then apply the glue size and pro- 
ceed as with a perfectly dry wall. 

— 585 — 
Enameling or China Glossing Interior Work. 

A painter states that his method of doing enamel white or China 
gloss finish on interior woodwork is to prime with pure white lead and 
oil with some turpentine, following this with two coats of lead in oil 
thinned with turps, then two or three coats white enamel finish or 
zinc white ground in damar varnish and thinned with damar varnish. 
Some manufacturers of enamel paints have told him their goods should 
be used for each and every coat. 

Do not allow yourself to be led astray by the claims of some over- 
anxious paint drummer who, by the anxiety to sell a few gallons of 
enamel paint, will undermirie unknowingly the reputation of their 
house. You cannot make a good, durable job of enameling or china 
glossing on new or old work, excepting by the method which you 
yourself describe, though that method can be modified to some extent. 

Enamel or china gloss white cannot be applied successfully without 
a proper foundation, for it will require too many coats to cover and 
will crack every time, unless applied over a proper priming and under- 
coating. The best method for woodwork is to give a priming of pure 
lead, thinned with equal parts of raw oil and turps, adding a trifle pale 
japan. Second coat pure lead, thinned with turps and a little pale 
japan only. Third coat French zinc white in oil, thinned with turps 
and some pale japan or paste drier. Sandpaper smooth to efface all 
brush marks, then dust carefully and apply first coat of enamel or zinc 
white ground in damar, thinned with damar varnish. Let this stand 
for a few days, then moss down with pumice and water. Clean off 
thoroughly with clear water and whep dry apply a flowing coat of 
enamel white or china gloss, as above. This finish may be allowed to 
remain in full gloss or rubbed down to a dead finish with flour of pum- 
ice or rotten stone and water, as desired. For smooth plastered walls, 
prime with a coat of pure lead in oil, thinning with two parts raw lin- 
seed oil and one part turps. Second coat with pure lead in oil, thinned 
with equal parts of raw oil and turpentine, adding a little drier. 

Third coat with equal parts pure lead and zinc white in oil, thinned 
with turps only, adding some pale japan. 



240 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED 

When the price paid for the work will permit, a fourth coat, to con- 
sist of French zinc white in oil, thinned with turpentine, to which pale 
drier is added, is advised, but not actually required. Before applying 
the enamel in either case, the surface should be sandpapered. Next 
one coat of enamel or china gloss should be applied, well crossed and 
recrossed, and this followed by a .flowing coat of the same material. 

— 586 — 

How to Make Wall Paper Stick on Newly Plastered Walls that Have 

Been Frozen. 

When newly plastered walls have been so badly frozen that a pow- 
der appears on the surface like new plaster, which can be brushed off 
with the hand or broom, and in other places falls off in flakes, it is 
almost an impossibility to make the paper stick, from the fact that 
you are working on a loose surface. The only sure way is to remove 
the white coating and replaster. There are some other methods, as 
follows : 

First size the wall with any of the following sizes ; the first and sec- 
ond are most satisfactory : 

Equal parts of dark sugar, molasses, glue and water. 

Equal parts of alum, glue and sugar and water. 

Equal parts of vinegar, glue and water. 

Equal parts of glue, paste and water. 

Next the wall should be lined, using wall paper, newspapers or mus- 
lin. Newspapers and muslin give the best results. The newspapers 
are to be pasted the same as wall paper (first sizing the walls), and 
after hanging use paste brush in the same manner that a pouncing 
brush is used. For the muslin, paste the wall and use paste brush the 
same as a hanging brush. 

— 587 — 

How to Mix Color for Graining in Imitation of Light Oak. 

For graining in oil, mix raw Italian sienna in oil, a trifle of raw Tur- 
key umber, also ground fine in oil and a small portion of bolted whiting 
with boiled linseed oil, adding a small portion of liquid drier. The 
whiting is added to keep the color from running together after comb- 
ing. For dark oak, a trifle of burnt umber or burnt sienna may be 
added to the above, according to the effect desired. Sometimes oak 
graining is glazed with asphaltum, wiping out large blazes of lights, 
and dark spots are put in with a sash tool. For this purpose the as- 
phaltum is dissolved in spirits of turpentine and a little boiled linseed 
oil added to prevent quick setting. 

— 588 — 

Coating for Oil Skins, Such As Are Worn by Seamen and Fishermen. 

To make seamen's oil skins fine drilled calico is dipped into bullock's 
blood and dried thoroughly in a current of air; then 2 or 3 coats of raw 
linseed oil are applied by dipping or brushing and allowing each coat 
to dry thoroughly before applying another. The oil must be prepared 
by adding one ounce of powdered litharge to each pint of the oil, stir- 



7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 241 

ring it occasionally, and allowing to settle after 24 hours, then decant- 
ing the oil from the sediment of litharge. The drying should be accom- 
plished under a shed, where there is a good current of air, but where 
the cloth is protected from the rays of the sun and from rain. For 
yellow goods a little medium chrome yellow ground in oil or French 
ocher may be added to the oil ; for black goods, lampblack in oil is the 
best coloring agent. 

To waterproof fishermen's coats of linen or muslin make a stout 
paint of yellow ocher for yellow or of lampblack for black, using these 
colors ground in oil, thinning with pure boiled linseed oil only and add 
to each quart of the paint one ounce of brown soap that has been dis- 
solved by moderate heat in some of the oil used for thinning. Lay the 
goods on a table and apply the paint with a stiff brush, rubbing it in 
well ; then hang the cloth up to dry in the most airy place at your com- 
mand. If it is more convenient, do not put the soap into the oil or 
paint, but in painting take the brown soap in your left hand and every 
time the brush is to be refilled with paint rub it first over the soap. 
This method is troublesome, but the result is quite gratifying. Two 
coatings are necessary. 

A simpler and cheaper method of waterproofing canvas or muslih, 
linen, etc., is to dissolve 4 ounces of yellow soap in 6 pints of water by 
boiling, then stirring into the solution, while still on the fire, one gallon 
of boiled linseed oil, and when well mixed and limpid, it is taken from 
the fire and allowed to cool. When cold one pint of gold size is added. 
This preparation may be colored with chrome yellow for yellow and 
lampblack for black. 

— 589 — 

Indelible Crayon for Lettering on Cloth or Muslin Without Sizing. 

There are crayons made for marking on glass, which would also^ 
serve your purpose, and we have no doubt that you can obtain the right 
kind in one of the large stores dealing in drawing materials or artists' 
supplies. Crayons are usually made from pipe clay and fine chalk, 
colored to suit, mixed with pale or sweet ale and a bit of fish glue, 
but these will rub or wash oft in contact with water. To render them 
indelible wax or wax and soap is used with color, but the pipe clay and 
chalk are omitted. 

— 590 — 

Probable Cause of Softening of Letters Painted on Glass. 

Some letters were painted on the inside of a glass door, the entrance 
to a telephone stock and construction room, in which soft coal is 
burned in a furnace, and in which room the chemicals used in bat- 
teries emit vapors. When the letters, which were painted with white 
lead, oil, turps and a little japan, were finished, they were firm and 
clean cut, but after being on a week they appeared wasted and trans- 
parent, and the edges had wrinkled and become irregular, and the 
paint, though apparently firm on the glass, chalked or powdered when 
rubbed hard with the finger. The letters applied on other doors in the 
building were all right, although the same paint was used. 



242 7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

We would certainly advise you to put your letters on the outside 
this time and use a little good varnish in place of the oil in mixing 
your color, because we think you did not have sufficient binder under 
the conditions in that room. There is no doubt that the sulphur gases 
from the furnace, in connection with the vapors from the chemicals 
used in the batteries, were the chief cause of the trouble and affected 
your binder, as well as the white lead. In chemical laboratories lead 
paints are not used, for the very reason you have mentioned as the 
probable cause of the trouble. Had you used zinc white instead of keg 
lead, and a good varnish in place of oil, the paint would hardly have 
failed as it did. 

— 591 — 

Black for Imitation of Ebony. 

A black more intense than drop black toned up with Prussian blue 
was desired, in order to make a stain in imitation of ebony. 

Gas carbon black is the strongest of all insoluble blacks, but its tone 
is too brownish for a good imitation of ebony. There are, however, 
aniline blacks, known to the trade as oil blacks because soluble in oils, 
and one of these* will suit your purpose best without doubt. Ask your 
supply house to obtain samples of such for you, stating with what me- 
diums you wish to use them. They are fairly permanent and well suited 
for the work you mention. 

! —593 — 

Substitute for Gutta Percha for Insulating. 

We do not know where a good substitute for gutta percha may be 
procured, but can recommend the following composition as being a 
good insulator and considerably cheaper than the pure article : 

Eighteen parts by weight of pitch, 9 parts by weight of calcium hy- 
drate (slaked lime), 24 parts by weight of pure gutta percha. 

For the pitch, coal tar may be substituted, and in either case the 
solvent used for the pure gutta percha may be used. A good composi- 
tion for iilsulating may be made of one part Swedish tar, one part rosin 
and three parts of gutta percha, all by weight. 

— 593 — 
Tenacious Paint for Sheet Metal. 

Paint made in the proper way and baked on thoroughly will not 
crack or peel off from sheet iron or sheet steel when the metal is bent. 
Such a paint is best made from colors that are ground fine in paste form 
in pure boiled linseed oil and reduced to liquid form with a good, elas- 
tic baking varnish, which is applied in a flowing coat and immediately, 
before it has time to set too hard, placed into the baking apparatus. 
It must be baked at as high a temperature as the color will stand with- 
out change. 



7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 243 

— 594 — 

Green Filler for Natural Oak and Green Glaze for Oak Graining. 

The most durable green glaze is made from French verdigris, 
ground to the utmost degree of fineness in varnish and thinned with 
varnish for application. If there is no haste about drying, it may be 
used, ground in oil and thinned with oil and the necessary driers. 
Should the tone of verdigris be too bluish, a mixture of verdigris and 
yellow lake will give a very rich green glaze of the sap green tone. 

As to a green filler for oak, any good grade of light paste wood filler 
may be stained with terra verte or green earth, chrome green being too 
opaque, or verdigris may be used, very little being required. Mala- 
chite, the natural mineral green, is not to be had readily, and the ani- 
line color sold under that name is not fast to light. To make a green 
stain for natural oak, one that will not fade on being exposed to strong 
light, and will be inexpensive, we should recommend the use of chem- 
ically pure chrome green, toned with a strong raw Italian sienna of 
yellow tone and light gravity. Very little coloring matter is required 
for such a stain, and, though more costly than one made of aniline dye, 
it outlasts the latter fifty to one. We cannot give proportions, which 
depend entirely on the strength of the material and the effect desired. 

— 595 — 

Black Enamel for Stove Pipes and Similar Sheet Iron Work. 

Any good asphaltum varnish, free from admixture with rosin, and 
with as little linseed oil as elasticity will permit, will suit the purpose. 
If rosin is introduced in stove pipe enamel, it will blister from- the 
effect of the heat. Fuse in an iron kettle 100 lbs. of best Cuban as- 
phaltum with 6 gallons boiled linseed oil, that has been boiled pre- 
viously with 5 per cent, lead oxide, take from fire, and, when partially 
cooled, thin down with 24 gallons spirits of turpentine. For a second 
grade use the same quantity of asphaltum and linseed oil, but thin with 
8 gallons turpentine and 16 gallons deodorized naphtha of 63 deg. Be, 
adding the turpentine first to prevent too great a loss by evaporation 
through heat. If the brown-black tone of the asphaltum is undesirable 
some varnish makers' black may be substituted for part of the as- 
phaltum. 

— 596 — 

Graining Caskets of Whitewood in Imitation of Rosewood. 

To begin with, close grained wood, like whitewood, is best for imi- 
tation of rosewood. The tools required are a flat brush, blender, 
fitches, camel's hair pencil and sponge. The wood is first primed with 
white lead, that is strongly tinted with Indian red, tinted with oil, turps 
and japan, so as to dry semi-flat. The ground — that is, the next coat 
over the priming — should be drop black, so mixed as to dry with egg- 
shell gloss. It is best to use it ground in japan and thinned with tur- 
pentine and a little varnish. On this, when dry, spread the graining 
color, which consists of rose pink and drop black, and may be in oil or 
in japan, thinned so as to work out freely and not run together on 
wiping out. Wipe out with the sponge or flat brush. Put in the grains 



244 7^ PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

with the top grainer and pencils. Glaze with a mixture of rose pink 
and asphaltum, and wipe out knots or shadows to suit the fancy. 
When the surface has become hard enough, apply a coat of hard drying 
rubbing varnish, and rub down with pumice and water, wipe 
up and allow to dry thoroughly, then give a second coat of rubbing 
varnish and rub down again with pumice and water. When 
this is thoroughly cleaned up and wiped with chamois skin it is time to 
stripe, gild or otherwise ornament the casket, then carefully wipe and 
dust, then give a flowing coat of casket varnish and allow to dry hard 
in a closed, dust-free room. The glazing cannot be done, as you would 
have it, after striping or gilding ; it must be done before any varnish 
even is applied. 

— 597 — 

Preparing a Ceiling of Yellow Pine Previous to Painting. 

We would say that the ceiling should have one thin coat of shellac 
varnish, and that white shellac is best, if the ceiling is to be painted 
white or in a light tint. While, as a rule, the killing of sap is not es- 
sential where the sun does not strike the surface, it is a wise precaution 
to hold back the sap with a coat of shellac, especially when the paint is 
to be in flat finish. It will give more smoothness and uniformity to- 
the paint, acting as a filler. 

— 598 — 

Imitating Birch by Staining Pine and Spruce. 

We think you will find it very difficult to closely imitate on any pine 
or spruce timber the appearance or color of birchwood with an oil slain? 
or any other kind of stain. Black birch, if that is the veneering you 
have in view, closely resembles wild cherry in color, and differs uiatcri- 
ally in growth from pine and spruce. Unless the work is veiy poorly 
paid, ignore liquid glue, which is probably all right for plastered work 
but not for wainscoting and door casings or window frames, whlclt 
may be subject to moisture, and use varnish instead, to which add a 
trifle burnt sienna, a trifle raw sienna and a little burnt umber. Try it 
on a testing board first, and keep on till you succeed. 

— 599 — 

The Cause of Paint Peeling from Putty. 

A painter puts the glass into the sash one day and paints the next ; 
but when the sash is hung, and he starts to finish, he often finds the 
paint peeled from the putty, especially at the bottom of the sash. He 
states that he buys the best materials he can find on the market. 

Your trouble is due to expansion and contraction. Ordinary or 
glaziers putty, which is composed of whiting (chalk) and linseed oil, 
does not dry hard enough in twenty-four hours to admit of being 
painted with oil paint that usually contains enough japan to dry in 
twelve hours, superficially at least. Many commercial grades of 
glazier's putty contain but little or no linseed oil, but are made with the 



' 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 245 

•so-called putty oil (a deodorized mineral oil), and will not dry for a 
week. If yoii wish your putty to dry in twenty-four hours you had bet- 
ter mix enough dry white lead with it to harden it more quickly, or 
.wait until the putty is hard before you apply your paint. 

— 600 — 

Rubbing with Pumice and Oil or Pumice and Water. 

Rubbing with pumice and oil makes polishing more easy than rub- 
ting with pumice and water. But the latter plan is surest, when the 
operator is working with varnish, whose drying and hardening proper- 
ties he is not thoroughly acquainted with, or if the operator is a be- 
ginner in that line of the trade. If the oil and pumice are allowed to 
remain on the rubbed surface too long, the varnish is liable to become 
soft, and a ruined surface is the result. On the other hand, water tends 
to harden varnish, that may have a slight tendency to tackiness, and 
the work can be proceeded with more quickly. 

— 601 — 

Cause of White Lead and Oil Thickening After Being Mixed Ready 

for Use. 

In each of the following mixtures the paint thickened after being 
mixed ready for use and looked like chilled kalsomine and would not 
cover : 

1. White lead and oil only. 

2. White lead, oil and a fair quantity of japan. 

3. White lead, oil and varnish. 

4. White lead, raw oil and patent dryer. 

From your descriptiort, we should judge that you got hold of a batch 
of the so-called pulp ground keg lead, which was imperfectly treated — 
that is, the water was not thoroughly separated or eliminated from the 
lead during the process of mixing the pulp lead with the oil. We will 
not say so positively, because we do not know for certain whether the 
brand you mention is manipulated that way, but we have good reasons 
for the belief that such is the case. If we are correct, the explanation 
is very simple ; the moisture still present in such lead will bring about 
an emulsion of the oil, which causes the thickening after thinning for 
use, and loss of body. There is, however, still another possible reason, 
and that is an excess of hydroxide in the composition of that particular 
batch of white lead, which also tends to a thickening, livering or pud- 
ding up of the paint, no matter how it may be mixed. If you have any 
of the white lead on hand from the identical package that is not yet 
thinned, Ve would suggest to you the following test : Procure a blow- 
pipe and a piece of soft willow charcoal, dig into the latter a small 
cavity, into which you place a little of the white lead (about the size of 
a pepper corn), and with the aid of the flame of an alcohol lamp or a 
gas burner direct the blast from the blowpipe on the lead, and if the 
latter splutters strongly when the blast first touches it, you may be 
sure that there is moisture present. White lead ground from the dry 
material may splutter very slightly from the burning of the linseed 
oil, but will not do it to the extent of the pulp ground article. 



246 ' 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, ' 

— 602 — 

Water Stain to Produce the Weathered Effect on Oak. 

Weathered oak is the effect given the wood by exposure to the ele- 
ments, and it is only necessary to bring about a similar effect more 
quickly by artificial means. Water color stains do not penetrate deep 
enough into the wood to make the effect strong enough, hence solu- 
tions of other material than color are being employed for the purpose. 
Aqua ammonia alone, applied with a rag or brush repeatedly, will 
darken the color of oak to a weathered effect, but is not very desirable, 
because of its tendency to raise the grain. Bichromate of potash, dis- 
solved in cold water, applied in a like manner, until the desired depth is 
obtained, will serve the purpose. These washes or solutions, how- 
ver, do not give the dark, almost black, effect that is at the present 
time expected for weathered oak, and in order to produce this, 4 oz. 
of logwood chips and 3 oz. of green copperas should be boiled together 
in 2 quarts of water for 40 minutes and the solution applied hot. When 
this has dried, it should be gone over with a wash made from 4 oz. steel 
filings and one pint of strong vinegar. The steel filings are previously 
put into the vinegar and allowed to stand for several days. This will 
penetrate into the wood deeply, and the stain will be permanent. 

Picture frame manufacturers use a quick-drying stain, made from 
aniline blacks, that are soluble in wood spirit or amylacetate, and add 
wood alcohol shellac as a binder. 

— 603 — 

Painting a Hearse in Black Finish. 

If the hearse be a new one, sandpaper smooth and dust off thorough- 
ly every part of the body and running gears as well. Mix pure white 
lead in oil (keg lead) with lamp black to dark lead color and thin with 
equal parts raw oil and turpentine, adding one tablespoonful of coach 
japan to each quart of this if you wish to hurry the job somewhat, 
otherwise omit the use of japan. Apply one coat of this priming thinly 
and avoid brush marks by using chisel-point fiat brushes. 

It would be far better, if time permitted, to have the priming coat all 
oil, with only a very small portion of white lead and lamp black, but 
time is a great factor nowadays, and durability is generally sacrificed 
to a certain extent, When this priming is dry enough to admit of 
sandpapering, go over it with No. i paper and then apply what is called 
a first coat of lead, made from keg lead and lamp black, thinned with 
one part raw oil and three parts turps, to which enough coach japan 
should be added to make it dry hard enough to sandpaper in twenty- 
four hours. Apply this lead with chisel-point bristle brushed and rub 
out well, avoiding brush marks. Smooth down with No. J sandpaper. 
Careful dusting after sandpapering must not be lost sight of, as it is 
one of the most important features in producing a clean job. The sec- 
ond coat of lead or flat lead is applied after surfacing with knifing in 
lead or rough stuff and puttying. The running gear of a hearse may be 
surfaced with "knifing in*' or "glazing lead," while the body part 
should have at least three coats of rough stuff. The knifing in or glaz- 
ing lead can be purchased from the manufacturer or prepared at the 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 247 

shop by running through a hand paint mill two parts of dry white lead 
and one part of keg lead, with enough equal parts of rubbing varnish 
and coach japan to make a soft paste, which is thinned to working 
consistency with a little turps. For black finish it is colored with some 
lamp black. This is applied stout with a bristle brush and pressed in 
arid smoothed down with a broad blade elastic putty knife, so that 
very little sandpapering will be necessary for the after coats. 

Puttying up is done on this knifing in coat, the putty consisting of 
the glazing lead referred to stiffened with some dry white lead and a 
little fine whiting that is well pounded on a block of wood with a 
wooden mallet. When the putty has hardened sufficiently, go over all 
with No. i sandpaper, dust carefully and apply the second coat or flat 
lead. This should consist of very fine keg lead thinned with turpentine 
only and a small portion of coach japan with enough lamp black to 
give a dark lead color. Apply with a camel's hair brush, and when dry 
go over it lightly with No. o sandpaper, then rub down with moss or 
curled hair, using flour of pumice. This completes the surfacing for 
the running parts, which are now ready for the color coats. 

As to the body part, in order to make a first-class mirror-like job, 
rough stuff surfacing is required. Purchase from your supply house 
good one-day rough stuff or make it yourself by running through a 
paint mill the following : Five pounds Reno's filler, and three pounds 
stiff ground keg lead, with enough of equal parts quick rubbing varnish 
and coach japan to make a fairly stiff paste. Thin with turpentine 
and apply one coat per day, not less than three coats — four if necessary 
to obtain good rubbing surface. 

Putty up when last coat is dry, and let stand at least three days. 
Apply a guide coat of the rough stuff, colored with fine yellow ocher 
and made very thin with turps. In applying rough stuff, work rapidly 
and thereby avoid brush marks. For rubbing down rough stuff on fine 
jobs or high-grade carriage work, we would not advocate the use of 
rubbing bricks, but instead recommend the use of best selected lump 
pumice, shaped to suit the work in hand and well cleansed by washing 
from all grit, always selecting the most porous stone. The utensils 
required for rubbing rough stuff surface are plenty of clean water, 
good sponges and chamois skins and an assortment of pumice stone. 
Too much water should not be used, not more than to keep the stone 
from gumming up, and straight strokes all in one direction and of uni- 
form pressure are advised. To determine whether sufficient rubbing 
has been done, the palm of the hand should be passed crosswise over 
the rubbed surface. The rubbing satisfactorily accomplished, the sur- 
face should be washed down thoroughly and dried with chamois skins, 
the corners of moldings cleaned out with a pointed stick or suitable 
stiff brush and the second or flat coat of lead color applied, which 
makes the job ready for the color coats and finishing varnish. 

To apply the black finish we would suggest the use of lamp black in 
japan, thinned with turpentine and a tablespoonful of elastic rubbing 
varnish to one pint of the thinned black, as first coat of black over the 
flat lead color. This to be followed with one flat coat of highest grade 
coach ivory black in japan and one coat of some black mixed 
with elastic rubbing varnish, one day between coats. This 



248 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

is to be followed by a flowing coat of rubbing varnish of 
good body, which after three days is to be rubbed with pumice 
and water, using oo powdered pumice and rubbing felt. For extra 
good work two or three coats of rubbing varnish must be applied, and 
€ach one rubbed down conscientiously. This done and proper time 
having been given for guarding against possible sweating of the rubbed 
surface, touch up with color any places that may have been rubbed 
through and proceed to apply the finishing coats of varnish, which 
should be flowed on carefully in a dust-free room of good warm tem- 
perature. 

— 604 — 

Creosote Shingle Stains and Linseed Oil Stains. 

Creosote stains for shingles have come in such high favor through 
the belief that they have highly preservative properties, preventing 
dry rot in the wood and also from the theory that creosote stains are 
antiseptic and do not aifect the water that in many localities is col- 
lected in cisterns from roofs of houses and barns, while there is a gen- 
eral idea that paint acts injuriously upon water so collected and makes 
it unfit for the use of man or beast. While we do not share such belief 
we are of the opinion, and, in fact, know, that a creosote stain, when 
well made, will answer the purpose of protecting shingles against dry 
rot, etc., better than a linseed oil stain, because it penetrates deeper 
into the wood and being very slow to dry lasts longer and does not 
require repainting one-half as often as ordinary linseed oil stain or 
paint. Another point in its favor is that on shingles well dipped into 
creosote stain before they are laid, and given another coat after being 
in place on a roof or on the gable end of a cottage, mildew or fungus 
growth cannot establish itself upon it, as is the case with oil stains 
with mineral or earthy paint bases. In our own experience we found 
that a stain made from inert pigment, ground in oil, thinned with pine 
tar, liquid drier and benzine or kerosene, and applied to the shingles the 
same as creosote stain, the shingles being laid on neighboring roofs, 
preservv.d the shingles fully as well after an exposure of four years, 
the oil and pine tar stains had held their color better. In another in- 
stance, where linseed oil paints, white and moss green, were simply 
thinned with benzine, into which preparation the shingles were 
dipped, then laid and given a coat of the stain, the color held out well, 
but the' shingles showed dry rot in many places and required relaying. 
You will find it a difficult matter to overcome the tendency to favor 
creosote shingle stains. 

— 605 — 

Silica for a Brick or Cement Wash. 

Silica, when obtained from flint, is called silex, and that obtained 
from sand or quartz is known as silica or silver white. Pure silex does 
not contain lime in any form, hence there is no lime preparation that 
equals it in character. Commercial whiting consists of about 84 per 
cent, carbonate of lime in the form of chalk and 16 per cent, of silex 
or silica (flint or sand). Silex would not improve whitewash in either 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 249 

body or binding properties, as it is a very brittle material. Fine whit- 
ing is often added to whitewash to improve its body, glue or rice flour 
to improve its binding properties, dairy salt to keep the whitewash 
from drying too quickly and from rubbing off after drying, but we 
can see no advantage whatever that could be gained from the addition 
of silica, silex, marble dust and similar whites. 

— 606 — 

Imitating Mahogany by Staining with Acid. 

Your question isnot quite clear; if you wish to imitate mahogany by 
the use of acid, beechwood is best suited. Have this planed smooth, 
then rub the surface with a solution of nitric acid, which you can get 
from any druggist. When this has colored the wood sufficiently, apply 
with a soft brush the following spirit varnish : One ounce of dragon's 
blood dissolved in one pint of alcohol. The solution is mixed with one- 
half ounce of carbonate of soda and filtered before use. Should you 
desire, however, to simply darken mahogany in certain places by burn- 
ing, use dilute nitric acid, and when spaces are sufficiently dark, wash 
over with soda water to neutralize remaining traces of the acid. 

— 607 -i- 

Finishing the Top of a Barroom, Counter. 

The only reliable finish for this class of tops is the old fashioned oil 
polish, as neither varnish polish by the American or French process 
will stand the continual wetting and the effect of the liquids. Oil pol- 
ish will stand this and allow the tops to remain in good condition. The 
process, though very simple, is very tedious and therefore not much 
in favor, but if customers are willing to pay for it, the painter should 
not hesitate to undertake the job. If the top is a new one, it should 
first be stained to suit the taste with oil stain and then filled with col- 
ored paste filler, and when this is dry, smooth sandpapered. Then 
boiled linseed oil is applied with a brush and immediately rubbed in 
with a rubber made by wrapping a piece of felt around a flat stone (the 
heavier the better). After the first rubbing the work is allowed to 
stand for a week, when a second rubbing is given in the same manner 
and so on until a satisfactory surface and polish is obtained. This may 
occupy six weeks, and the way it is usually done, the rubbing is begun 
on closing the bar and a false top placed over the work until it is fin- 
ished. If the top be an old one and in good condition, it simply re- 
quires smooth sandpapering and touching up with stain before resort- 
ing to the oil polish. 

— 608 — 

Why Lime or Lime Water Is Used in Cement Wash. 

Referring back to No. 580. 

By lime water we mean a saturated solution of lime, or as much 
lime in the water as it will take up. A little excess of lime would not 
Lime water is added to the cement wash because it imparts binding 
properties to the wash which it would not have if clear water was used 
only.. The salt is added to keep the wash from setting too quickly 
and assist in absorbing moisture. If well dissolved before it is added 



250 7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

to the wash it will not cause discoloration. The paragraph in ques- 
tion was the answer to an inquiry for the proper binder for a cement 
wash for new laid walls, partly concrete, brick and stone, that were 
to be made to look good for a time without rough plaster or paint ; in 
other words, a temporary expedient until the walls were thought safe 
to paint after a year or so. This cement wash was decided upon as 
best, because it would not hinder the expulsion of moisture nor the 
neutralization of the caustic properties of the lime in the newly laid 
mortar. 

— 609 — 

Renovating a Surface in Zinc White That Is Badly Cracked. 

The front, shelving and counters of a dry goods store had been 
painted with zinc white and had cracked badly. Is there any way to 
make a fifst class job without removing the old paint? 

We say emphatically. No! A good job cannot be made except by 
removing the old paint and building up from the foundation. You say 
that it is badly cracked, therefore it is probable that the cracks extend 
clean down to the wood, and in such case, no matter what you may 
do, the cracks will show up through the new paint in a short time. We 
do not suspect the shelvings and counters of a country dry goods store 
to have many, if any, coats of white lead as a foundation for the zinc 
coats, and in consequence it would not do any good to sandpaper down 
the zinc coats as much as possible and then fill in with a few lead coats. 
The best plan is to remove the old paint and prime and first coat with 
pure lead, and use zinc white for the finishing coat only. If the lead is 
held flat it will not strike through one coat of zinc. 

— 610 — 

White Lead and Oil Paint Going Black on North and East Exposures 

Repeatedly. 

A house was painted in the spring, using a certain brand of pure 
white lead and oil. The base of the porch columns and window cas- 
ings on the north and east sides turned black in four months. It was 
painted again the next year by another firm, and come out blacker 
than ever in less than two months. The base of the columns are pan- 
eled and seem so porous the paint sinks right in. Originally the house 
was painted bronze green and then white before the first painter 
worked on it. There are no trees round the house. 

The brand of white lead you mention is of first class quality and 
strictly pure, and in our opinion has nothing at all to do with the 
trouble. We think that the failure is due to local faults, which might 
be mildew or brought about by moisture from within. White lead and 
oil paint alone is scarcely ever affected by mildew, unless there is 
moisture present when the paint is not quite dry. If the trouble is due 
to mildew, your proposed two coats of red lead and white lead will not 
correct the fault, and we would suggest that you persuade the owner of 
the house to have one or more of the panels in the porch columns re- 
moved, and the paint thereon subjected to microscopical examination, 
in order to discover whether the blackening of the paint is actually due 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 251 

to mildew or to wet rot in the lumber. In the latter case there is no 
remedy but to remove and replace the panels and window casings, the 
dwelling becoming unsanita^^y in time from this house rot or fungus. 
If the timber is sound, then the trouble is from without, and if your 
plan of red lead priming (after removing all the old ^aint preferably by 
burning off) is followed, the red lead paint holds not too oily and the 
white made to dry reasonably quickly, further blacking of the white 
may be arrested. 

— en- 
Keeping Back the Sap in California Pine. 

We often find it difficult even to kill the knots in white pine when 
they are simply touched up with shellac varnish and not more than 
two coats of paint are applied. No matter how dark the tint may be, 
the knots will show through as soon as the last coat of paint is fairly 
dry, especially on southern exposures. In your case, however, it is not 
so much a question of knots as of sap throughout. We would suggest 
that you make a priming of equal parts by weight of pure white lead in 
oil and pure dry red lead, using two parts raw oil and one part spirits 
of turpentine for thinning, making the prime rather thin and rutbing it 
well into the wood. Do not mix more at one time than can be used the 
same day. Paint placed over this priming is not likely to peel or blister 
if of fair quality and properly applied. On this lumber, especially, 
every coat applied over the priming should be applied stout, but 
brushed out thin. 

— 612 — 

How Shingle Stains Can Be Produced Cheaply and How Shingles Are 

Dipped. 

See No. 604, but for your special benefit we would add that if 
your creosote stains fade badly and your oil stains become darker on 
exposure, you have not taken care to allow for change in drying out 
and have not selected your coloring matter with a view to fastness to 
light. Take a good quality of liquid paint of the proper color, or take 
oil color and thin with raw linseed oil to the consistence of liquid paint, 
not omitting a little japan, thin either of these mixtures with equal 
parts of benzine and kerosene, making it almost as liquid as water, so 
that when shingle wood is dipped into it, it merely colors the strip, so 
that when set up it shows the effect desired. 

To dip the shingles, any convenient vessel is proper, be it a shallow 
box, keg or barrel into which the shingles may be stood to the depth 
required to be stained. After a few minutes' immersion they are 
thrown aside to make room for others. When the shingles have been 
laid on roofs, as a rule here in the East, one coat of the stain is applied 
with large brushes. 

— 613 — 

How a First-Class Job of Flat Work Is Produced. 

We must assume that you refer to interior work in white or in tints. 
On new woodwork a priming of white lead in oil, a second coat of 
white lead, thinned with equal parts oil and turps and a third coat of 



252 7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

white lead, thinned all turps, with a small portion of white japan in 
each, is sufficient for a good foundation for a good flat finish, providing 
brush marks have been Avoided and th^ last coat of lead sjnoothed 
down with No. J sandpaper. Next one coat of best French zinc white 
in oil is thinned with turpentine and a little white japan, applied with 
a chisel-point flat brush. This dries with eggshell gloss, if manipu- 
lated properly, and the job is then finished with one coat of French 
zinc in damar varnish, thinned with turpentine only and applied with a 
camel's hair brush. A job done in this way gives an air of solidity 
and will not turn yellow. For plastered walls we would recommend 
the same method, excepting that the first coat of lead be applied direct- 
ly on the wall without any size, and that puttying, if necessary, be done 
on this priming coat. Then a glue size is to follow before the half and 
half lead is applied, to stop further suction, or in place of glue size, a 
thin coat of wall or suction varnish may be given. Balance of work to 
be the same as for woodwork. For tinted work the ground coats 
should be of the same color as the finish. For old work, the surface 
should be prepared by cutting out cracks and plastering or puttuying 
up preparatory to painting and all new patchwork or cut out and filled 
in cracks touched up to match the old color. In such case, one coat of 
lead, thinned equal oil and turps, and the two coats of zinc white as 
above will generally suffice, but good care must be taken that the ren- 
ovated places will not show through. 

— 614 — 

The Best Wax for Polishing Hardwood Floors. 

The wax that has the highest melting point is best for the purpose, 
because of its hardness after application. Brazilian or Carnauba wax 
has that property, its melting point being about 185 deg. F., while 
bleached beeswax melts at 145 deg. F. and paraffine waxes will melt at 
as low a temperature as 115 deg. F. 

Carnauba wax, ntelted in a suitable kettle and thinned with spirits of 
turpentine, so that on cooling it has the consistency of soft tallow, is an 
excellent article for the purpose. The wax should be applied in that 
consistency to the floor with a large brush as evenly as possible, per- 
mitted to set and then rubbed with a weighted floor brush. When 
the floor is new two coats are required, one to fill and level up, the sec- 
ond to give luster. If the work is well done heel marks will not show 
to any extent. Elbow grease is a factor here, as in many other things 
pertaining to the work of the painter. 

— 615 — 

Rubbed Varnish Surface on Interiors. 

Several rooms that have been varnished are to be rubbed dowo and 
given another coat of varnish. Walls and ceilings are all wood. 

The best material for rubbing is steel wool or curled hair, powdered 
pumice and water. We cannot say what price per yard you should base 
your figures on, as we do not know whether you intend to simply 
"moss*' it down or rub to a dead finish. The job may be worth from 
ten cents to forty cents per yard ; it all depends on how much labor 
you expect to expend upon it. For simply mossing, that is, '^knocking 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 253 

off" the gloss, we should say fifteen cents per square yard where there 
are no moldings, or for rubbing to a dead finish thirty cents per yard 
we should consider a fair price, but if there are many moldings in the 
room you should charge ten cents more pei? yard in either case. For 
applying the succeeding coat or varnish we should say that six cents 
per yard for labor would be about proper, the varnish to be calculated 
at cost, one gallon for fifty yards. 

— 616 — 

How Sea Shells May Be Cleaned and Polished. 

There are several ways to accomplish this. First, boil in a strong 
solution of potash, then polish with hydrochloric acid and whiting. 

Second, clean the surface with hydrochloric acid until the outer skin 
is removed. Wash in warm water and dry in sawdust, then polish with 
chamois skin. If the shell has no natural gloss, rub with tripoli and 
turpentine, using chamois skin, apd finish with olive oil. 

Third, rough shells are first ground on a coarse stone, then smoothed 
with pumice and water on a buflfer wheel or with a hand polisher and 
finished with rotten stone. 

^ — 617 — 

Best Shingles for Roofs and How to Coat Them. 

The roof of a large barn has shingling lath about twelve and one-half 
inches apart. Could a good and lasting job be made by using eigh- 
teen-inch shingles, dipping them in either hot linseed or hot petroleum 
oil or applying either after the shingles are laid? What kind of shin- 
gles are best? 

If you use 18-inch shingles you will need to put intermediate laths^ 
as no shingle should show more than one-third its face to the weather. 
Cedar, juniper and cypress are undoubtedly the best woods for 
shingles. Yellow pine shingles will outlast those made from the softer 
woods, but are apt to split, while beechwood would be lighter and less 
liable to warping and splitting. Where redwood shingles can be ob- 
tained they are excellent. If you do not care to have the shingles 
stained and object to creosote, we would suggest that you procure a 
solution of persulphate of iron, marking 2 to 2j deg. Be', into which 
dip the shingles. Then, when they are laid on the roof, give them a 
good coat of hot, raw linseed oil with a paint brush, which will remove 
the bluish tint given by the solution on drying, changing it to a brown, 
giving the appearance of being weathered. There will be no harm 
done in giving an old shingle roof a coat of raw linseed oil hot. 

— 618 — 

Thinning of Varnish That Has Become Too Stout. 

You must not use gasoline for thinning varnish at any time, as 
it is entirely too volatile. You can thin with 62 deg. benzine, providing 
the properties of the varnish will stand such treatment without becom- 
ing turbid, but we would suggest that you use pure spirits of turpen- 
tine to be on the safe side, or make a trial with benzine on a small scale 
before taking the risk of ruining a lot of valuable material. In any 



254 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

case, however, we should advise you to take the cork out of your var- 
nish can and set the can in a vessel of hot water, and do the same with 
your turpentine or benzine, in order to have both the varnish and thin- 
ners of about the same temperature on mixing. When you have suc- 
ceeded in thinning the varnish without its becoming turbid or showing 
rubber-like separation it will be well to permit it to set for a few days 
in a warm place ; otherwise it is liable to give a sandy appearance to 
the work. 

_6i9 — 
To Remove Wax or Shellac from Floors. 

To remove wax from floors use benzine or gasoline and a good 
scrubbing brush ; give the benzine time to soften the wax. To remove 
the shellac from floors use amylacetate, acetone, wood alcohol and 
fusel oil, but have plenty of ventilation in the room. 

— 620 — 

Virtue or Value in Paint Made from Paint Skins. 

There are several ways to recover useful material from paint skins 
that are fairly oily and soft, but all labor is lost on the- hard scrapings 
that require to be chipped from sides of mixing pots or paint pots, or 
when it has to be resolved by means of caustic potash or lime. Paint 
skins while still oily and elastic may be boiled over a moderate fire 
with an addition of linseed oil, when the valuable paint material in the 
skins will soften, so that by straining it may be freed from the useless 
resinified, insoluble matter. This makes a first-class paint for roofs 
and general painting, but should not be used for priming under any 
conditions, because top coats would be apt to peel from it. The best 
method, however, so far as economy is concerned, is to keep a skin 
paint receptacle in the shop, have all remnants from pots and mixers 
deposited therein, and run the material through paint mill and strainer 
before it becomes too old and fatty. 

— 631 — 

Oak Finished with Water Stain and Wax. 

When water stain and wax finish are specified filler is not called for, ' 
because the wax is expected to act as filling and will do so if properly 
employed. Have the surface well planed and smooth sandpapered, 
then apply the water stain of the color desired as often as required to 
give the desired effect, then apply your wax. This you can prepare by 
melting good pure yellow beeswax (the harder waxes are admissible 
for floors, but not for furniture or the woodwork about hall or room) in 
a water bath with turpentine, say one pound beeswax to three pints 
turpentine. The consistency of the wax should be that of cream, ap- 
plied with a brush and allowed to set for at least one-half day, if pos- 
sible twenty-four hours, then it should be rubbed over briskly with a 
suitable brush until it shows a polish. The first coat on new wood 
acting as filler merely, a second coat will be required for a good job. 
In our opinion, water stain and wax finish is about the most economical 
and while it would not look as well on other woods, makes a first-class 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 255 

appearance on oak. The drawback about this method of wood finish- 
ing is that it will not stand dampness or wetting. 

— 622 — 

Removing Paint that Has Been Sanded. 

The most effective and surest method will be burning off with the 
torch, using the scraper. On account of the sand, paint removers will 
not answer as well as they probably would if only the oil paint was 
there. Scraping alone is too slow and tedious a process. 

— 633 — 
Preparation for Flatting Varnish. 

An article was wanted that would flat varnish so it will not scratch 
and that paint applied over it will not peel. The inquirer had heard 
that Danish painters use a powder which they grind in turpentine and 
mix with the varnish to obtain the result referred to. 

We have not heard of the powder you refer to, nor do we know of 
any preparation that will keep varnish from scratching. At any rate, 
what has the flatting to do with the scratching? Varnish that will 
dry flat and haid can be made by treating the resins, or gums, with 
caustic soda and after a thorough washing and drying of the resulting 
precipitate, it may be dissolved in either benzine or turpentine, pro- 
ducing a dead flat surface of great hardness in either case, when applied 
in the manner of varnish. Why not buy a flatting varnish, instead of 
risking spoiling a lot of good varnish by adding to it something un- 
known or untried ? 

— 624 — 

Cheap Size for New or Whitewashed Plastered Walls to Be Kal- 

somined. 

To size a new plastered wall for kalsomine, make a size of good pale 
glue, one pound; rosin soap, one pound; alum, two pounds. Soak the 
glue in cold water until soft, pour off the water that has not been taken 
up and pour on boiling water until all the glue ha§ dissolved. Slice 
the soap fine and dissolve in hot water, and do the same with the alum. 
Stir the glue and soap solutions together, then add the alum solution. 
Thin the mixture with enough water to make it work well under the 
brush. Give two coats if one is not sufficient to stop suction in the 
wall. A simple glue size is often sufficient, but the glue, soap and alum 
size is better. When walls have been whitewashed and the wash is 
firm treat the walls to a wash of strong vinegar, and when this has 
dried give one or two coats of warm glue size, which should be rather 
thin to penetrate the whitewash and hold it firmly to the plaster. 
There is nothing more economical. 



256 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 635 — 

Unfading Blue, Red and Yellow for Interior Wall Painting. 

For wall painting lime proof colors should be selected, and among 
these may be classed cobalt blue, indigo blue, ultramarine blue and 
blue smalt ; Indian yellow, Naples yellow and permanent or zinc yel- 
low ; English vermilion. Madder lake and a comparatively recent pro- 
duct, a very brilliant red, sold under various proprietary names, such 
as permanent, durable or unfading red. 

— 636 — 

. Klalsomining Over Old Wall Paper* 

Old wall paper should always be removed before kalsomining, and 
the wall treated to a thin size of glue, so as to make the kalsomine 
dry out uniform and evenly. When, however, it is necessary to apply 
kalsomine over wall paper, the paper should be given one or two coats 
of thin glue size, which is best applied fairly warm so as to penetrate 
deeply. If the paper does not become loose on or immediately after 
the application of the size, it is safe to go ahead with the kalsomine. 
A thin coat or two of thin wall or suction varnish will sometimes ser\'e 
even better. 

— 637 — 

A Pu22le in Paints Out in Oregon. 

A school building in Oregon was painted when erected, and tw^o 
years later was in such bad condition as to make repainting necessary. 
The condition of the paint gave the appearance of pebble embossed 
wall paper. It looked as though the paint had parted more in some 
places than in others. Three years later the school house looked worse 
than ever, while a residence next door painted at the same time, with 
the same material, was in good condition* 

From your description we would assume that it is an aggravated 
case of alligatoring, which may be brought about by too heavy a prim- 
ing coat that was not given time to dry and harden before the succeed- 
ing coat or coats were put on. Fatty linseed oil or rosin oil in the 
priming coat, and rosin oil or rosin varnish in the finishing coat will 
produce the very effect described by you. The only remedy in such a 
case is to burn off the paint clean to the wood before repainting, and 
paint with good materials from the very foundation in the proper 
manner. 

— 638 — 

How Ink Stains May Be Removed from Floors. 

After scouring the spots with moistened sand, apply a solution of 
one pound of oil of vitriol and two quarts of water. If this discolors 
the wood to any extent, bleach with a saturated solution of oxalic acid. 
If the ink stains are not too old, an application of a paste made of 
chloride of lime and water will also remove them. The paste is put 
over the spots in a fairly thick layer and allowed to remain until nearly 
dry, when the layer is removed with a knife or spatula, and the spots- 
washed with lukewarm water. Repeat the operation if not successful 
on first application. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 257 

— 629 — 

Cleaning Brushes That Have Been Used in Shellac Varnish. 

Shellac brushes are usually kept in the shellac varnish, which is 
thinned with alcohol from time to time to keep it fairly liquid. When 
taken out of the varnish, the brush can be washed out readily with 
methylated spirit, acetone or wood alcohol, and this is the only safe 
method of cleaning such brushes. Wash out your shellac varnish 
brushes at once, when through with them, in any of the spirits referred 
to and keep them in a good brush keeper until needed again. 

— 630 — 

How to Fill Cracks in an Old Hard Pine Floor and Refinish by 

Waxing. 

In the first place the floor must be scoured thoroughly and allowed 
to become thoroughly dry. The cracks must be cleaned of all dirt, 
and if an oil putty is used, the edges of the cracks should be saturated 
with linseed oil, boiled or raw, to which some drier is added. If the 
cracks are not over a quarter of an inch in width, a pure linseed oil and 
whiting putty, to which some dry white lead and enough dry raw 
sienna to color it has been added, and all thoroughly kneeded together 
must be pressed firmly into the cracks, smoothed down nicely by 
wetting the putty knife with turpentine and allowed to dry hard and 
firm, when the surface is sandpapered. If the cracks are wider than a 
quarter of an inch they may be filled with a putty made from glue size, 
whiting and sawdust, with enough raw sienna or ocher to color the 
mass ; .or, better still, blotting paper is soaked in water, squeezed out 
and kneeded into a fairly stiff mass with glue size and whiting and 
colored with ocher or raw sienna and pressed firmly into the cracks. 
None of these putties will shrink when pressed down firmly and per- 
mitted to harden. You do not state whether the floor has been finished 
beifore, but no matter; if it has worn very much you cannot be ex- 
pected to make a first-class job of it, unless it is planed off. Before 
beginning to wax it see that it is well sandpapered and, if desirable, ap- 
ply a coat of hard drying stain, then give two coats of wax, the first 
to act as a filler and the second as a finish. Purchase the so-called 
Franch floor wax, which comes in the consistency of soft butter and 
dries very hard, or make your own by melting beeswax in spirits of 
turpentine, using a water bath, but not an open fire. Apply it with 
a brush evenly and not too heavy, and when set up use a weighted 
floor brush and you will economize in time and have a good job. 

— 631 — 

Cracking and Flaking of House Paint. 

A frame hotel was painted and less than a year after 
was ^ a mass of cracks and was flaking off badly. The 
building had been painted twice before, using white lead and 
linseed oil, but this time the painter was induced to use a mixed 
paint. The surface was in good condition when he began to paint the 
last time. The trimmings were Tuscan red, and showed no cracks at 



258 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

all. The same paint failed on several other jobs, though it stood fairly 
well when mixed with three parts of white lead. 

This problem is easily solved when the composition of the pigment 
in the brand of paint you mention is considered. You need not look 
for the cause of the trouble in the old paint composed of pure white 
lead and linseed oil, but you must traice it entirely to the poor qualities 
of the pigment in the brand of paint you speak of. The reports that 
have come to us from time to time from entirely reliable sources, as 
well as the claims made for this paint by the parties interested in its 
sale, convince us that its composition is not based upon time honored 
principles or upon the practice of durable paint making that has been 
established by decades, not to say centuries, of actual wear and tear. 
So far as we know, there is no dishonesty practiced in the placing upon 
the market of this brand of paint, the vehicle or thinners being free 
from deleterious materials, but it seems to us that the pigment is not 
well selected to withstand the ravages of the elements that exterior 
painting is subjcted to. A paint composed of zinc oxide and sulphate 
of barium cannot be expected to wear when it is used all the way 
through from priming to finish on raw wood, especially when it con- 
tains more than traces of free sulphur, as is sometimes the case with 
the pigment in question. Nor will it stand well when two coats of 
it are applied over old paint. It is bound to crack and flake in a short 
lime, and the reason that it stood fairly well when one part of it was 
mixed with three parts of pure white lead must be looked for in the 
fact that in that case only about one-eighth of the total mixture con- 
sisted of zinc oxide. The claim that because this brand does not con- 
tain any lead at all it will hold its color does not hold good so long as 
free sulphur in determinable quantities, no matter how small, is pres- 
ent. Nor has this holding of color anything to do with the wear of 
the paint. It would be better by far to have the paint fade or darken 
and yet be in good condition for repainting than to have it crack, 
flake or peel, making it necessary to remove it clean to the wood with 
the paint burner or with a paint remover. 

— 632 — 

Can Blackened Orange Shellac Varnish Be Restored to Its Original 

Color? 

Yes, it can be done by filtering through charred bones, but there is 
so much loss in the operation that the game is not worth the candle, 
and, besides, it entails much trouble and expense. 

— 633 — 

Spotting of Paint on Gable End Walls. 

A gable end wall, the surface of which was in good condition, and 
had been painted every three years, several times, by the same painter, 
was given in the spring two coats of pure white lead, tinted with drop 
black and yellow ocher, and for seven months the job looked very well, 
but in the fall it began to spot in several places. He mixed the lead 
and colors for first coat two-thirds boiled oil, one-third turps, adding 
gold size japan ; for second coat, equal boiled oil and turpentine, with 
gold size japan for drier. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 259 

The material and source of supply you mention would indicate that 
they were first class and strictly pure, but we are of the opinion that 
the practice of thinning the materials was radically wrong for exterior 
work. We do not criticise your method of thinning for first coat on 
old paint, but your second coat should not, under any circumstances, 
have had any turpentine. With the oil of the present day it is difficult 
enough to retain gloss for any length of time without shortening its 
life by drowning it with turpentine, and it i^ a wonder that it did not 
spot much sooner. That it spotted only in certain places appears to 
b^ due to the fact that such places in the old paint were more ab- 
sorbent than others. We think that boiled linseed oil is not the proper 
vehicle to employ with white lead paint on exposed surfaces, and are 
certain that pure, well-settled raw linseed oil will wear longer. When 
exposed surfaces of paint begin to spot in places it means that the oil 
in the paint has either been absorbed by porosity underneath, or that 
it has begun to perish. In either case it is detrimental to the appear- 
ance and to the wear or life of the paint. 

— 634 — 

Priming or First Coating Exterior Brick Walls. 

It is required to paint a brick -house that is fifty years old, the walls 
of which have never been painted or coated in any way. 

In a brick wall of the age you mention there is no danger from 
caustic properties in the mortar used in the joints, unless the wall has 
been recently pointed. First give the wall a good brushing with a 
stiflf corn broom to clean it from dust or loose sand, and before prim- 
ing see that the wall is dry. You must not under any consideration 
seal up moisture in the bricks, or you may he sure that the best paint 
will peel when the sun gets its work in. If your finish is to be red, 
use a good brand of Venetian red and thin with pure raw linseed oil 
and a little japan. Make the paint rather thin and brush it, well into 
the bricks. If your color is to be buff, mix your priming from two 
parts yellow ocher and one part pure white lead, thinning also with 
pure raw linseed oil and a little japan, holding the paint also thin, flow- 
ing it on freely and rubbing it well into the brick. When the priming 
has dried, putty up all holes and joints with putty that is colored to 
suit. A good job cannot be made on unpainted brick with less than 
three coats. No matter whether you desire gloss or flat finish, thin the 
second coat with one-third turpentine and giye it good body. Have 
it fairly stout and rub out well and smooth. For a gloss finish have 
the last coat all oil, good kettle boiled oil is best if red is used, while for 
tinted white lead raw linseed oil and japan is more lasting. For flat 
finish, if you do not intend to use the flat black color offered by paint 
makers, thin your paste with one-fourth japan and three-fourths tur- 
pentine, and should it lack in binding properties, add a trifle of good 
outside varnish. 

— 635 — 

Paint Peeling from Kalsomine — How to Prevent This in Patching Up. 

The walls of an old room have been painted over kalsomine, and arc 
peeling to the white in spots, especially near the stove. Elsewhere the 



26o r39 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

paint appears to be hard and firm. The painter, who is called on to 
renovate it, desires to avoid the tedious job of scraping clean to the 
plaster, which would also be apt to scar the walls more or less, yet 
does not wish to run the risk of having his work scale and peel. 

In our opinion it depends on the condition of the old paint whether 
you can hold it down with elastic varnish. Although you may suppose 
that the old paint and kalsomine is firm where it has not peeled, it may 
be only a question of time when it would peel in spite of the varnish. 
If the paint in those spots has peeled to the white it means, we assume, 
that paint and kalsomine have both cleared off clean to the plaster. In. 
that case the paint has dried out in those spots more than at other 
places, has contracted and pulled the kalsomine with it. It can hardly 
be expected that you can fill up the spots and then hold all of the paint 
down with varnish, because the latter cannot penetrate through to the 
plaster and hold it there. But if you have a means of taking off the old 
paint down to the kalsomine, the varnish, if thin enough and the kalso- 
mine not too rich in glue, might penetrate the latter and hold it on the 
plaster, when your new paint would be safe. There are plenty of in- 
stantaneous paint removers on the market ; try one of these, taking the 
paint off to the kalsomine, then apply a coat of varnish and over this 
your paint. 

— 636 — 

What Is Venice Turpentine and What Is Oil of Turpentine? 

Genuine Venice turpentine is the product of the larch tree, Larix 
Europoea, but is now a rare article. It is very pale and aromatic, of 
the consistency of thick honey, similar to Canada balsam, which we 
believe is generally sold for it. It is a first-class material to mix with 
gum damar, in order to make damar varnish work more freely. It 
can be added also to shellac varnish for a similar purpose. 

Oil of turpentine is the name given in Europe to our spirits of tur- 
pentine. It is also called essence of turpentine. 

— 637 — 

How to Imitate C3rpress by Graining. 

The grain of cypress is somewhat like that of yellow pine, but is 
broader in the heart and finer grained. The graining in imitation of 
cypress is done in oil only. The ground should be a little darker than 
that which is used for oak. For graining color raw and burnt sienna, 
and burnt umber is mixed in oil with the usual quantity of japan. 
When the color is put in the hearts are wiped out in the usual way. 
A rubber comb may be used to make portions of the heart, but care 
must be taken that the lines made by the comb follow those made by 
the hand. The steel combs should not be used over the lines made 
by the rubber comb, and a very thin glaze is only needed to finish 
cypress graining. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 261 

— 638 — 

What Is Meant by the Term "Drying OU?" 

The term drying oil stands simply for such oils as will dry and 
harden, or, in other words, form a film or skin on exposure to the air. 
The most important among them are linseed oil, poppy-seed oil and 
nut oil from walnuts. Sunflower seed and hempseed oil do not cut any 
figure in this country. 

— 639 — 
Sea-Green Stain for Whitewood. 

Take chemically pure chrome green, light, ground fine in linseed oil 
and enough raw sienna in oil and mix the two in sufficient quantity to 
produce proper effect, then thin with one part boiled linseed oil, one 
part brown japan and two parts turpentine, making the mixture very 
thin ; apply with brush or cloth and when set wipe across the grain. 

— 640 — 

Paste for and Pasting of Pressed Wall Paper. 

The ordinary paper hangers' paste made by stirring rye flour or 
wheat flour into cold water until all lumps are beaten out and then 
bringing it to a boil under constant agitation will do very well for 
pressed papers, but must be heavy, so that it will not make the paper 
too moist or limp before it is on the wall, as that would spoil the reliet 
figures. Each piece of paper must be hung as soon as pasted for the 
same reason. Trim the paper while dry, before pasting, in the usual 
way with knife and straight edge, but on pasting take good care not to 
run your paste over the edges, nor do not have it too heavy close to the 
edge. 

— 641 — 

A Good Formula for Preparing Kalsomine. 

This is used by the foremost firm of painters and decorators of one 
of the most thriving cities in the western part of the United States. 

One pound of uncolored gelatine glue, as free from grease as possi- 
ble, is soaked over night in cold water sufficient to cover the glue. 
Thirty pounds of English cliffstone Paris white, bolted or best bolted 
gilders' whiting, is also soaked in sufficient water to make a paste over 
night, and next morning both are heated with steam or over a moderate 
fire in a water bath to the boiling point, and when the glue is fully dis- 
solved the two materials are thoroughly mixed. In summer time on 
cooling a small portion of carbolic acid, say about one-eighth of an 
ounce, diluted with water, is added for each pound of glue used in the 
aforesaid formula to keep it from souring, and in this way the kalso- 
mine will keep for some weeks. It is said that the workmen rather 
like this preparation, because of its good working properties. 

— 642 — 

Removing Grease Spots from Stone. 

Pour strong soda dissolved in water, while boiling hot, on the spot 
or spots, mix some fuller's earth in boiling water to a thin paste, put 



262 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

a coat of this over the spots and let it remain over night. If this has 
not taken all of the grease out repeat the operation. Sometimes, when 
the grease has not penetrated deeply, it may be removed by rubbing 
the spot with a hard stone and sand, using very hot water and soap 
and soda. 

— 643 — 

A Good Putty for Large Cracks and Holes. 

Chop up paint skins quite fine and mix with botled linseed oil, then 
stiffen up with boiled whiting and knead thoroughly to the consistency 
of glaziers' putty. The properties of this putty are its great elasticity 
and greater drying qualities as compared with ordinary whiting and 
linseed-oil putty, because with the paint skins a body is entered which 
possesses the drying as well as the elastic properties to a great de- 
gree, as well as toughness. 

— 644 — 

Beating Paint in Dipping Vats by Steam. 

The question was asked whether it would be a benefit or injury ta 
dipping paint, if beaten up in the vats by steam pipes running through 
the apparatus. 

Undoubtedly it would be a very decided injury to the paint, because 
your steam pipes would require to be perforated, and the steam would 
naturally turn to water on striking the paint. Even the blowing of 
air through a dipping vat would injure the paint, because dipping 
paints usually contain a great deal of volatile thinners, such as tur- 
pentine or benzine, mostly the latter, and a continuous stream of air 
would tend to rapid evaporation of the same, thickening up and liv- 
ering the paint, to say nothing of the loss. Continued stirring of dip- 
ping paints is necessary only when heavy materials are employed as 
the base, and these paints can be so made that only an occasional stir- 
ring is required to hold them in suspension. 

— 645 — 

Spots on Wall Paper Hung on Damp Walls. 

Such spots will appear not only on damp walls, but also when the 
paste is not evenly applied or when the Wall is more porous in cer- 
tain ])laces than in others. Also when the air in the room is so satu- 
rated with moisture that the water in the paste cannot be absorbed 
by it. On humid days it is best to close the windows and have only 
the doors of the rooms open and have a light fire in the room, so that 
the moisture is taken through the chimney flue. In this way the 
water spots in wall paper may be prevented. But in damp walls 
it is futile to depend on drying out by the means given, and the only 
preventive is battening out with canvas or muslin, so as to leave an 
air space between the damp wall and the paper. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 263 

— 646 — 

Painting With Oil Paint on Whitewashed Walls. 

A shop has been whitewashed, but the lime dusts off. Will lead and 
oil paint stick over the whitewash ? 

That depends on conditions. You fail to state how often the wall 
has been whitewashed and whether the wall was rough or smooth or 
smoky. We have seen lead and oil stick very well, but there had been 
only two thin coats of whitewash and the wall was built of brick. 
If the whitewash, however, is very thick the oil of the lead paint will 
be drawn into the lime, and if the wall behind it is a hard one or has 
been smoky the whitewash and lead paint are liable to come off to- 
gether. If the whitewash is thin you can safely risk it, and to make 
doubly sure apply a size of two parts japan, one part raw oil and orte 
part turpentine, over which the oil paint will hold securely. If, how- 
ever, your object is simply to obtain a surface that will not rub off^ 
slake your lime with hot water, leave it stout, and when cool thin with 
skimmed milk. 

— 647 — 

Raw Linseed Oil vs. Boiled Oil for Wagon Painting. 

We see no objection to using raw linseed oil in place of boiled oil 
in wagon work ; on the contrary, we think the wearing quality of the 
paint will be increased by the use of pure, well settled raw linseed oil, 
when we consider that the boiling of oil with driers changes the me- 
dium into a varnish that no longer has the qualities of the crude ar- 
ticle, and also in view of the fact that much of the commercial boiled 
oil is nothing more than raw oil doctored up with cheap driers, and 
has never been near a fire. For wagon- work, we should say that seven 
and one-half pints of raw oil and one-half pint of a first-class liquid 
(oil) drier would be about the proper proportion for summer and 
seven pints raw oil and one pint liquid drier for winter, drying as well 
as boiled oil, to which little or no drier is added. 

-648- 
How Roughstuff May Be Kept in Good Condition. 

Mix your roughstuff to a stiff paste, and after taking from it the 
quantity immediately needed put the balance into a white lead keg, 
level the roughstuff down nicely and cover it with a piece of stout 
paraffine or parchment paper, which will exclude the air. Or a little 
turpentine may be put on top of the roughstuff and a piece of oilcloth 
tied securely over top of keg. By following either of these methods 
the filler can be kept for a long time. When mixed thin, ready for 
use, and allowed to set around it soon becomes gummy, stringy and 
worthless. 

— 649 — 

Finishing Furniture in Sixteenth Century Style. 

The wood is first filled with a paste that is made of bolted whiting, 
boiled oil and japan and thinned with turpentine. This filler is ap- 
plied to the work ;with an ordinary bristle brush, usually 6-0 size. 



264 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

When coated, and before it has time to set, the surplus filler is removed 
with rags or waste, always wiping across the grain, in order to have it 
filled properly. When the filler is dry and hard the work is smoothly 
sandpapered and dusted and a coat of stain applied, which is made as 
follows : Three parts dry Vandyke brown, one part dry burnt sienna 
mixed with boiled oil and japan and thinned with turpentine. The 
stain must be used sparingly and brushed out well. On large surfaces, 
such as table tops, wipe off the stain in the center about one-eighth 
of the length and the whole width of the table, then, with a badger- 
hair blender, gradually blend the stain toward the ends, blending 
crosswise and clear across with each stroke of the blender, which will 
give the antiquated appearance. The other parts are wiped out and 
blended to correspond, and when dry two coats of hard oil or furni- 
ture varnish are given. Work of a better class is given two coats of 
rubbing varmsh and rubbed down with pumice and water until all 
the gloss is removed, and is then polished with the following prepara- 
tion: One pint raw oil, one-half pint alcohol, one-half .pint vinegar 
and one-eighth pint ammonia. 

— 650 — 
To Restore Enameled Bricks to Their Original Color. 

A painter was called on to restore the original color of so-called 
enameled bricks on a building where evidently the builder had used 
two kinds of bricks, as one-half the front is all qght, and the other half 
appears as if lamp black had been spilled over it. The color of the 
bricks is gray. Muriatic acid, in various degrees of dilution, had been 
tried without success. 

We are unable to assist you, because you have failed to state one 
essential point. Are the bricks glazed like earthenware or are they 
of the kind that are merely dipped in paint, or have they been enam- 
eled after the front was finished? If the two last named methods have 
been followed the remedy is simple enough, and that is to paint them 
over with one flat coat, followed by a gloss coat for finish. But if they 
are glazed bricks, as we think they are, there is nothing in the shape 
of acids or any other material that will restore the original color, be- 
cause the trouble is in the flux used in the glaze, which has blackened, 
probably from the material used in the bricks, or from some defect in 
the glaze itself, most likely the latter. The only remedy that we can 
think of would be to repaint the whole front, which, if, as you say that 
the bricks are porous, would not be a difficult matter to do, especially 
if you give a good priming coat that will adhere well, and on which 
your enamel or gloss paint will hold and wear well. But we should 
advise you to hold your enamel very elastic, using good boiled oil and 
a little first-class outside varnish for the binder, and pure lead, with 
not over 15 or 20 per cent, zinc oxide, tinted with lampblack, etc., to 
proper shade for the pigment. Unless the bricks are porous your 
priming coat must not be very oily. At any rate, you should mix it in 
such a manner that it will dry flat, or at least with no more than egg- 
shell gloss. 



7JP PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 265 

— 651 — 
Finishing Musical Instruments. 

The process of polishing violins, guitars, banjos, etc., is of French 
origin, and is as follows : First a coat of shellac varnish is given to 
the wood. When dry it is carefully glass-papered, then a small quan- 
tity of alcohol shellac is poured into one dish and a similar quantity 
of clear linseed oil into another dish. Now a small piece of cotton is 
rolled tip in a piece of soft chamois skin and tied up in the shape of a 
ball ; then apply with a brush the shellac varnish on a small section 
of the surface, and before the shellac has a chance to dry dip the cham- 
ois skin ball into the oil and rub with a firm, steady motion over the 
section just coated, taking care to have the surface moist with oil, until 
the polish is obtained. When finishing in sections on the larger in- 
struments take care to cause each section to lay close on to the last 
one done. 

As to piano finishing, that work diflfers entirely from the French 
polishing referred to above, and it is much easier to give directions 
than to do the work successfully, which requires skill and long ex- 
perience. To simply revarnish and repolish a piano it is necessary to 
apply two coats of piano rubbing varnish. After the second is ap- 
plied it should be stood aside to harden for at least a week, then care- 
fully and evenly rubbed with finest flour of pumice and water, and 
when, in the judgment of the operator, the rubbing is perfect, the sur- 
face is to be rinsed with soft or rain water and dried with softest 
chamois skin. Then a soft cloth (woolen) is dipped into sweet oil 
and rottenstone and the surface briskly rubbed until gloss is attained, 
when it should be wiped with soft rags. Now some finely sifted wheat 
flour is sprinkled on and the whole surface firmly and evenly rubbed 
with a piece of silk until the highly polished effect is had. 

— 652 — 

Dissolving Rubber so as to Mix With Oil. 

Caoutchouc, or Para rubber, can be dissolved in disulphide of car- 
bon, with' coal tar benzol or with spirits of turpentine, and when the 
solution is liquid enough it will mix readily with oil. The rubber is 
cut into thin strips, put into a suitable tightly closing vessel and the 
solvent poured over it, so that the strips are fully covered, allowed to 
stand in a warm place and shaken frequently. When the mass is too 
much like a thick jelly, more solvent must be added until the desired 
fluidity is obtained. This accomplished, the solution can be mixed in 
varying proportions with boiled linseed oil, but it should be first 
strained to remove the unavoidable sediment, and oil and solution 
should be heated on a sand bath to make them amalgamate thor- 
oughly. Solutions with coal tar benzol or turpentine are preferable 
to those made with disulphide of carbon, because of the fugitive char- 
acter of the latter, which, when evaporated, is liable to leave behind 
the rubber in the oil in its original form, or at least in the shape of soft 
lumps. 



266 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 653 — 

How to Make a Good Job of China Glossing 

Over the primer one coat of white lead in oil, thinned with equal 
parts of raw oil and turps. Let this become good and hard, then apply 
another coat of lead in oil, thinned with turps, only so as to dry flat. 
When dry and hard, smooth sandpaper and dust off. Now apply a 
coat of French zinc, ground in linseed oil, thin with turps and add a 
tablespoonful of white enamel varnish or damar varnish, so that it 
dries nearly flat. The final coat should be composed of French zinc 
in damar varnish, broken tip with a little turpentine and thinned with 
damar varnish. A trifle of imitation cobalt blue or ultramarine blue 
ad!ded to this last coat will take away the slight yellow cast of the 
varnish. 

For very high-class work four parts of lead should, be given, then 
one coat of French zinc, nearly flat, one coat of French zinc in damar, 
rubbed with pumice and water, and finished with clear, white damar 
varnish, to which a trifle of zinc may be added to give the desired white 
effect. 

— 654 — 
Substitutes for Linseed Oil in Painting. 

A barn was primerf with gray ocher as a pigment and an oil that is 
manufactured in the South and sold under a fancy name as a boiled 
paint oil and claimed to be equal, if not superior, to linseed oil. Three 
days after painting a finishing coat of white lead tinted with lamp 
black was given, thinned with boiled linseed oil. In three weeks the 
job began to crack and finally peeled, the undercoat being soft enough, 
to be removed by the finger. 

The name of the oil is suflScient to acquaint us with its source of 
manufacture, and you are not far astray when you say that it appears 
to be composed of rosin oil. It is really a combination of rosin prod- 
ucts, mineral oil and enough linseed oil to act on the drier with which 
it is boiled. If you had used the material you did in finishing for the 
priming and the primer on top, results would have been far diflferent, 
though not by any means satisfactory. When you have removed the 
objectionable slush and begin anew, allow the bared wood to dry out 
some, then commence your work as you should have done in the first 
place. Use strictly pure white lead, tinted to suit with lampblack, 
thinned with pure raw linseed oil, and just a trifle of liquid drier for 
the first or priming coat, and you will have a foundation on which any 
fair paint will stand as a finish. If you must economize don't do it 
on the priming, which is the foundation of all painting, but rather on 
the final coat. And, above all, never use boiled oil for priming a new 
surface, because to the use of boiled oil much of the blistering and 
peeling of paint is due. If you want a nice, glossy finish, use good, pure 
kettle-boiled linseed oil in the last coat, but avoid those nostrums, 
the so-called bunghole-boiled oils. Also avoid priming with gray 
ocher or inferior yellow or red ocher, as they will invariabh"^ tend to 
the peeling or flaking of the outer coats. On soft and spongy wood 
a primer made of pure white lead and a finely ground French ocher 



7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. ^267 

IS to be preferred to white lead alone, but the proportion of white lead 
should be greater than that of the ocher. 

— ^55 — 

Liquid Brass Cleaner and Polish. 

Most polishes are made in paste form, and there are legions of them 
in the market ; but if you must have it in liquid form we would recom- 
mend the following as most effective : Dissolve one ounce of oxalic 
acid in one gill of hot water and stand aside to cool. Mix four ounces 
of rottenstone, finely powdered, with one-half ounce of dextrine that 
is also powdered very fine, and two ounces of sweet oil or palm oil 
to a paste, into which stir the oxalic acid solution. If too thick to form 
a liquid, add more water. Apply with a rag or sponge and rub dry 
with a piece of flannel or wash leather. 

— 656 — 

How the Brightness of a Tiled Floor Is Retained. 

The addition of a half pint of kerosene oil to an ordinary bucket of 
water will give the best results as to bright appearance when the mop- 
ping is carefully done ; but the addition of aqua ammonia and spirits 
of turpentine, say four tablespoonfuls former and two tablespoonfuls 
of the latter to a three-gallon bucket of water, will leave the tiles both 
clean and bright, even if the mopping is done carelessly. Under no 
condition should soap or strong soda be used, because tending to give 
the tiles an unsightly, dull appearance in a short time. 

— 657 — 

How Mirrors Can Be Made. 

A liquid preparation for silvering mirrors may be made as 
follows: Take one part, by weight, of lead, one part of tin, 
one part bismuth. Melt these together, and before the mass cools or 
sets add ten parts mercury. Pour this liquid on the glass so that it 
covers all the surface, then let it drain off quickly. When the liquid 
has become perfectly dry and hard on the glass it may be coated with 
flat black, which will insure opacity and wearing properties. 

— 658 — 
Finishing Natural Wood. 

1. Stain your natural wood first, if necessary, to obtain desired ef- 
fect, then fill with paste filler and finish with good furniture varnish 
or best inside varnish, giving two coats, mossing the first coat if fine 
work is wanted. 

2. Stain your mahogany with a thin oil stain, made from a mixture 
of burnt and raw sienna, to which a trifle rose pink may be added, fill 
with mahogany paste filler, give a good, full coat of rubbing varnish, 
rub or moss down and apply two coats of outside finishing varnish. 
If the wood is rich enough, staining may be omitted. 



-268 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

— 659 — 

Best Way to Make Liquid Wood Filler. 

Take, say two pounds of finely pulverized silex or China 
-clay, which stir into one pint of good liquid drier, beat into a 
fine mass, then strain through an ordinary sieve with the aid of a 
brush, so that all the lumps are thoroughly broken up. Then add to 
this paste, while stirring continuously, say three quarts or one gallon 
-of a good, pale furniture varnish. Let it stand awhile and then strain 
through a fine strainer or sieve. See, above all, that the silex or China 
clay you use in this mixture is bone dry. We would add, however, 
that you may find it cheaper to buy your liquid filled ready made, after 
counting up the cost for material and labor. 

— 660 — 

To Obtain a Gloss in Oil Paint That Will Stand Outside Exposiure. 

The questioner wanted something that would give a gloss that will 
stand outside exposure, to a lead and oil paint combined with a water 
solution, turpentine being used as a dryer. Will benzine act as well as 
turpentine as a dryer? 

We are hardly initiated enough in the secret arts and mysteries of 
paint making to be enabled to answer your questions to your satisfac- 
tion, but know just enough to point out to you why a paint, such as 
you describe, cannot hold its gloss for any length of time, no matter 
what material you may add. In the first place, you have lead and oil 
to which you add a water solution to thicken it, so as to save your 
pigment as well as oil. It is a well known fact that when a small por- 
tion of water is added to white lead and linseed oil paint it will tend 
to subdue its gloss and sometimes to flatten it altogether. You fur- 
ther state that you use turpentine as drier, which is a fallacy, as tur- 
pentine is not a drier, but simply a vehicle that allows paint to dry flat 
when used in the right proportion. The same is true of benzine, and 
both of these solvents are employed only to liquify basic driers and 
not as drying agents. It is therefore self-evident that the smaller the 
proportion of either turpentine or benzine introduced in an oil paint, 
the more luster or gloss such paint will have and the more durable 
such gloss will be on exposure. On drying, the water and turpentine 
or benzine will evaporate, leaving the paint porous, and the greater 
the porosity in paint, the more rapid will be the disappearance of lus- 
ter and gloss. Leave out your turpentine or benzine, add a small por- 
tion of zinc to your lead and use good kettle boiled linseed oil and a 
little japan and you will have good gloss. 

— 661 — 
Preparation of a Leather Varnish. 

We presume that you have in view a black varnish for leather that 
dries quickly and with good body and gloss. If that is the case, we 
can give you two formulas, from which you may select, as follows : — 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 26^ 

No. I. 

4 lbs. Dry D. C. Shellac, 

2 lbs. Gum Thus or Crude Turpentine, 

5 lbs. Manila Gum. ^ 

25 lbs. 95 per cent. Alcohol, 
J lb. Aniline Black. 

No. 2. 

4 lbs. Dry D. C. Shellac, 
4 lbs. Crude Turpentine, 
4 lbs. Rosin, 

22 lbs. 95 per cent. Alcohol, 
3-8 lb. Aniline Black. 

Either of these may be made in the cold way by dissolving gum and' 
rosins in the alcohol, and adding the aniline black, after it has been 
dissolved in part of the alcohol. 

Should you desire to make simply a gloss for leather, something 
cheap, we would advise you to employ the following formula : — 

Take one pound of good animal glue, soak it over night in cold 
water bath and then dissolve one pound of ordinary soap in hot water 
and mix it with the Warm solution of glue. To dissolve either of these 
use three gallons of water or six gallons for both. To the mixture of 
the two solutions add one quart of boiled linseed oil, then one pound 
of good wheat starch, which has been well mixed with part of the six 
gallons of water mentiotied above and put through a fine strainer to* 
prevent lumping. Put this mixture over a moderate fire and boil to a 
fairly thick paste. It may be used warm or it may be put in a form 
or mold, where it can be evaporated and made into cakes or tablets, 
which afterward may be mixed with stale beer or water. To produce 
a good gloss on leather apply as thin as possible. It makes leather 
durable and gives it a new appearance, though not as high a gloss as 
the spirit varnish referred to above. 

— 662 — 

How to Prepare Venetian Red for Staining Brick Walls. 

A painter asks: "Will muriatic acid, Venetian red and water make 
a good brick stain ?" 

We do not take any stock in your formula for a brick stain. Dilute 
muriatic acid is employed to clean brick of efflorescence and fungus 
growth, but not as a binder for a stain. You might try the follow- 
ing wash, which will make brick look bright and like new: Dissolve 
one ounce of glue and two ounces of alum, each separately in hot 
water, add the two solutions together and put to these enough hot 
water to make one gallon, with which quantity of water mix one pound 
of deep Venetian red. When cold strain and apply. 

— 663 — 

Transparent or Colorless Varnish for Marbleized Work. 

It depends very much on the kind of work you are to undertake and' 
what you can attord to pay for your varnish. For quick work dis- 
solve : — 



270 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

5 pounds refined bleached shellac, and 
2 pounds clear Venice turpentine in 
i6 pounds 95 per cent, alcohol. 

If the work is to be merely ornamental, a varnish made -on the fol- 
lowing formula will answer for interior work. It is perfectly trans- 
parent and will dry quickly : — 

lo pounds Water White Rosin, 

a pounds Crude Turpentine, 

8 pounds 95 per cent. Alcohol. 

Or for slow drying : — 

lo pounds Water White Rosin. 

2 pounds Crude Turpentine, 

2 pounds Spirits of Turpentine, 

6 pounds 95 per cent. Alcohol. 

— 664 — 
Estimating Cost and Labor for Painting Clapboarding With Best 

White Lead and Linseed Oil. 

In the following, wages are taken at $3.25 per day of eight hours. 

In order to give you an idea as to what we consider the proper mate- 
rial for three-coat work, we must necessarily go into details, using 
prevailing retail prices as basis for cost. 

First coat or priming for new work : — 
100 lbs. pure white lead @ 6c. per lb $6.00 

6 gals, raw linseed oil @ 60c. pei; gal 3.60 

\ gal. japan drier @ $1 per gal 25 

Total for material 9.85 

Cost for labor of mixing by hand 65 

This will produce 8f gals, paint for $10.50 

Cost for I gallon, $1.20, covering 80 square yards of clapboarding 
of average smoothness, costing i^ cents per square yard. A painter 
of average ability will cover 80 square yards in a day of 10 hours, and 
as he works only 8 hours per day, the cost per square yard may be 
put at 5 cents. Total for labor and material, 6J cents per yard. Add 
to this amount 50 per cent, lor wear and tear of brushes, ladders, stag- 
ing, shop rent and supervision and you will have 9^ cents per yard. 

Second coat to be made as follows : — 

100 lbs. pure white lead @ 6c. per lb $6.00 

4j gals, raw linseed oil @ 60c. per gal 2.70 

\ gal. japan drier @ $1 per gal 25 

Total for material $8.95 

Cost for labor of mixing by hand 65 

This will produce 7i gals, paint for $9.60 

Cost for I gallon, $1.28, covering 90 square yards of well primed 
clapboarding, and the cost for material is closely on to if cents ; the 
cost for labor is 4i cents ; total, 6 cents per square yard, to which add 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 271 

50 per cent., as above, giving a total of 9 cents per yard. The average 
workman should be able to second coat 90 square yards of surface in 
a day of 10 hours, unless difficult of reach. 

Third coat paint to be made a trifle more oily, as follows : — 

100 lbs. pure white lead @ 6c. per lb $6.00 

4f gals, raw linseed oil @ 60c. per gal 2.85 

I gal japan drier @ $i per gal 25 

Total for material $9.10 

Cost for labor of mixing by hand 65 

This will produce 7% gals, paint for $9-75 

Cost for I gallon, $1.26, covering about 100 square yards one coat 
well brushed out, which can be done by one man in a day of 10 hours, 
providing he can reach all of the surface without changing staging or 
scaffolding. Cost for material per yard, i^ cents; labor, 4 cents; total, 
S^cents. Adding the 50 per cent., as above, will make 8J cents. 

Therefore estimate should be based on 9J cents for first coat, 9 cents 
for second coat and 8J cents for third coat, or for three-coat work 27 
cents per square yard. 

For very rough surface the cast for material should be doubled, at 
least, in estimating, and where a great deal of staging or scaffolding is 
required the extra labor for this should be considered. An allowance 
of at least 10 per cent, additional should be made — more if necessary — 
in measuring clapboarding, as well as for the windowsills, frames, etc. 
In order to come out whole on a bid the contracting painter must ex- 
ercise his best judgment at all times. 

— 665 — 

How to Apply Flock Properly to Cut-in Signs. 

Proceed in the same manner as you would in smalting a sign ; be 
particularly careful that your groundwork is dry and hard and not too 
flat, so that the flock will not stick to the letters. The color you cut 
in with must be heav'y and slow drying, but not fat or greasy, or it 
will spread and produce ragged edges. Bear in mind, however, that 
flock should be used for sheltered signs only, and not for those that 
are exposed to the weather. 

— 666 — 

To Close Up Cracks in Brick or Stone Walls to Keep Out Moisture. 

You have, no doubt, in your shop some paint skins or the remnants 
of linseed oil paint from paint pots. Take the oiliest or softest of this 
and run them through a paint mill or strainer. Fine grinding or strain- 
ing is not required. If not thin enough for a mixed paint, add the 
foots of your oil tank or oil barrel, until you have such consistency. 
Now work in enough of dry common whiting to make the mass about 
as stiflF as glazing putty and then add to it enough good Portland ce- 
ment to enable you to handle it without it sticking to your hands. In 
that condition it may be pressed or worked into cracks in stone or 



272 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

brick walls, and when it has become hard it will be adhesive and will 
not be penetrated by moisture, and will stand any reasonable degree 
of heat as well. 

— 667 — 
Filling for Brass Signs. 

A cement for filling the letters of brass signs may be made by mix- 
ing equal parts of asphaltum, shellac and lampblack. Black sealing 
wax will also answer the purpose. Apply by heating the brass plate, 
melting the cement in, then even up the surface with a warm iron. 
Then scrape off the surplus carefully, and once more hold a warm iron 
over the letters to glaze them. 

Another method is to mix asphaltum varnish, brown japan and lamp- 
black to the consistency of putty, press this firmly into the spaces, then 
clean the edges with turpentine. When dry and hard, the whole plate 
can be polished. 

— 668 — 

Putty for Raised Work on Picture Frames. 

Bolted gilder's whiting and glue and water solution are worked to- 
gether into a stiflF piitty, which is pressed .into an oiled mould. To 
make it dry slowly, a few drops of gl)''cerine are added to the putty. 

— 669 — 

The Difference Between Asphaltum and Black Baking Japan. 

The letters '*B" and "T" in front of the word asphaltum simply de- 
fine the solvent used to make the varnish, B standing for benzine and 
T for turpentine. Asphaltum varnish is similar to these, and may 
mean either or may be used to designate a black varnish of greater 
elasticity, i. e., containing more linseed oil. Black baking japan is 
usually made from' a higher and harder grade of asphaltum with lin- 
seed oil and driers, and thinned with turpentine or a mixture of linseed 
oil and benzine. We annex a few formulas, as requested, but will not 
be responsible for satisfactory results, because some practice is re- 
quired to bring these about. 

"B" Asphaltum. 

35 lbs. Trinidad asphaltum. 

I gallon heavy boiled linseed oil. 

9 gallons 62 degrees benzine. 

"T" Asphaltum. 

30 lbs. Trinidad asphaltum. 

I gallon heavy boiled linseed oil. 

7 gallons turpentine. 

To cheapen the "B" asphaltum, ordinary rosin may be introduced in 
connection with the asphaltum, say equal parts of each. The same 
can be done with the "T" asphaltum. The asphaltum or it and the 
rosin is melted over a good fire in a suitable kettle and the drying 
boiled oil added while stirring. When boiled for about an hour, the 
kettle is taken from the fire to a safe distance and then the mass is 
thinned under constant agitation with the solvent. 



7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 275 

Elastic Asphaltum Varnish. 
30 lbs. Syrian or Egyptian asphaltum. 

2 gallons heavy boiled linseed oil. 
8 gallons turpentine. 

To make, proceed as above. 

Black Baking Japan. 
40 lbs. Syrian asphaltum or gilsonite. 
10 gallons hot linseed oil. 
8 lbs. litharge, bone dry and pulverized. 
8 lbs. red lead, bone dry and pulverized. . 

3 lbs. vitriol of zinc, bone dry and pulverized. 
30 gallons turpentine. 

To make this japan successfully, it is necessary to have kettles on 
wheels, so that they may be removed from the fire quickly. In one of 
the kettles heat slowly ten gallons of good, well settled linseed oil, in 
another kettle, which must be provided with a cover, melt over a good 
fire the forty pounds of asphaltum of gilsonite, and this done, add the 
ten gallons of hot oil to the mass and boil for fifteen minutes longer. 
Now put the kettle over a slower fire, which must be kept uniform, 
then add in small doses, while constantly stirring, the dry powder. 
When all the driers are added, the kettle is allowed to remain on the 
slow fire for four hours and then removed to cool off. This ends the 
first day's operation. Next morning the kettle is put again over the 
fire and the mass brought to a boil. Now the mass is tested on glass, 
and if it does not become so brittle that it will not stick to the fingers 
on cooling, it must be boiled until this stage is attained. At this point 
again remove the kettle from the fire, let it stand for an hour or ninety 
minutes to cool oflF somewhat, then thin the mass down with turpen- 
tine to proper consistency. If too stout, warm it up again some and 
add more turpentine. This japan will dry in the air in eight hours, 
and bake hard in less than two hours. 

— 670 — 
Raised Letter Signs of Plaster of Paris. 

A Minnesota sign painter made raised letters of plaster of paris,. 
varnishing and gilding them. They stood well for two years, when 
they began to show signs of cracking. He used dental plaster. 

Your method, as you describe it, is quite ingenious for highly raised' 
letters, and in order to keep the plaster from cracking in future, we 
would advise you to mix it as you did before, but add to every pound 
of dry plaster one ounce of powdered marshmallow root, which will 
keep the plaster from setting too quick, allowing you to work it for 
quite a while. It becomes very tough on drying without being brit- 
tle in the least. Instead of filling it with varnish, before gilding, give- 
the surface a coat of linseed oil, and do not put on your size for the 
leaf until the oil has dried, free of tack. If you wish to use plastico in 
place of plaster of paris, dissolve one pound of glue in one gallon of 
water, stir in the solution two pounds bolted whiting, two pounds of 
plaster of paris and one pound strictly pure white lead in oil. If too 
thin for your use, thicken with whiting. This plastico will require 
twenty-four hours to dry, but when thoroughly dry and hard, it may 
be varnished, painted or gilded. 



274 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 671 — 

Painting Steampipes and Radiators. 

Some sfeam coils were painted light buff, while cold, with a mixture 
of white lead, chrome yellow, oil and turpentine. The steam was 
turned on immediately after the application of the paint, which peeled 
off. 

Your treatment of the pipes was not the proper one to follow. In 
the first place, your pigments were not of the right selection, because 
white lead and chrome yellow will invariably turn brown on heated 
steampipes, and in the second place, an oily paint will blister under 
these conditions and at the same time darken the color still more. It 
requires zinc white as a base for such paint with a coloring matter 
that is not easily affected by great heat. For a light buff, we should 
use raw Italian sienna for coloring matter, and if this should make too 
dark a buff, add some zinc yellow (permanent yellow). The zinc white 
should be of best quality, preferably ground in damar varnish, or if 
ground in linseed oil, it should be washed with turpentine to extract 
the surplus oil. The colors should be ground fine in oil or in japan, it 
does not matter which, because it requires but little for a light buff 
tint. The white and colors should then be thinned to a creamy con- 
sistency and to this mixture a good pale baking varnish added in suf- 
ficient quantity to make a glossy paint. If such paint is applied when 
the pipes are fairly cool and the steam turned on, when the paint is 
about to set, no apprehension need be felt as to the result, because the 
paint will bake onto the pipes, neither blistering, peeling, cracking nor 
chipping. But even here, the steam should not be turned on in full 
force until the paint is dry or hard to the touch. For other tints than 
light buff, we would suggest such colors as ultramarine blue, drop 
black, burnt sienna, red oxide or Tuscan red, Indian red, yellow 
ochre, chrome red, madder lake, as they may come into use, but beware 
of chrome yellow, chrome green, Prussian blue, etc. 

— 672 — 

How to Obtain a Dull Finish on a Hearse. 

We assume that you know how to paint a hearse in black or white 
from the raw 'wood to the final coat of finishing varnish and, there- 
fore, omit going into details. When you have rubbed down your color 
and varnish coats and applied the final coat of finishing varnish, allow 
it to stand at least one week or ten days, if possible, then rub lightly 
with pumice and water and finally with rotten stone and sweet oil, 
until you have obtained the dull polish desired. Clean up with soft 
woolen cloth. 

— 673 — 

Aquarium Cement of the Best Quality. 

Mix two heaping tablespoonfuls of finest powdered litharge with 
one tablespoonf ul of glycerine, which must be as viscid as heavy syrup. 
If you cannot obtain it of that consistency, you must evaporate the 
less heavy glycerine of commerce on a water bath, until it is viscid. 
Use same as any other putty. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 275 

— 674- 

Lightning Driers as a Size' on Whitewashed Walls and as a Drying 

Medium for Inside Work. 

Lightning drier may be used as a size for whitewashed walls that 
are to be painted, but under no condition should it be used where such 
walls are to be papered. For this purpose a glue and alum size or a 
wash of vinegar is best, for the first named purpose a suction varnish 
would be preferable to lightning drier. In either case all the loose 
whitewash should be removed with a stiff broom. 

White lead in oil, tinted with oil color and thinned with turpentine 
and lightning drier will make a good, flat finish for interior walls and 
woodwork, and benzine may be substituted for the turpentine, but we 
should much prefer the latter as the proper thinner, because of the 
odor and better working quality of a paint made with turpentine. 

— 675 — 

Cleaning and Renovating Oil Paintings. 

To clean and restore oil paintings a very good method is to cover 
them with wet cloths for three days, changing them twice daily, and' 
washing them at each change. When dean and dry, rub the painting 
over with a soft cloth, saturated with nut oil. 

Another method is to clean the painting thoroughly and then glaze 
it over with a good mastic varnish, made as follows: Dissolve 14 
ounces gum mastic in three pounds spirits of turpentine in a water 
bath, and then add two ounces clekr Venice turpentine or Canada bal- 
sam. Put into a flask or jar and add one-half pound powdered glass 
or quartz. Shake thoroughly and allow to clear by settling. When 
clear, decant and apply with a soft varnish brush. 

— 676 — 

Difference Between Spirits of Turpentine and Venice Turpentine. 

^ Spirits of turpentine and oil of turpentine are one and the same ar- 
ticle. In the United States the former term is used, in Europe the lat- 
ter. It is the volatile liquid obtained by distillation from the crude 
turpentine, a resinous exudation from various species of pine and other 
coniferous trees, which, when distilled with steam, are decomposed 
into the volatile spirit, known as turps, and a solid residue, known as 
rosin or colophony. The crude turpentines, known as Venice turpen- 
tine, Strassburg turpentine or Canada balsam, are of a soft, resinous 
character, of the consistency of honey, and of an aromatic odor, and 
are mostly used for medicinal purposes and classed as balsams. What 
little is used of these goods in the paint and varnish line is employed 
by artists and by varnish manufacturers to make spirit varnishes flow 
more freely. True Venice turpentine or Canada balsam should be 
fairly clear, but not quite transparent, of a yellowish or slightly green- 
ish color, and have a pleasant aromatic odor. If light brown in color. 
It may be set down as a mixture of resin and turps. 



276 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 677 — 

Best Paint for a Light Canoe Exterior. 

That depends very much on the color desired. If it is to be a clear 
white or a light tint, we should say give it a coat of white lead; or 
white lead with coloring matter to suit, if a tint is wanted. Thin the 
lead with two parts raw oil and one part turpentine, with only enough 
drier to make this coat dry hard in twenty-four hours. Have your 
second coat made of equal parts of pure lead and pure zinc white, cut 
with a little drier and turpentine and thinned with good spar varnish. 
If chrome green or olive green or similar color is desired, thin your 
color for first coat with equal parts of raw linseed oil and turpentine, 
adding enough drier to make it set up over night and to be hard 
enough to receive the second coat in from thirty-six to forty-eight 
hours. Thin the color for second or finishing coat with a good japan 
or liquid drier and turpentine, and add enough of good spar varnish to- 
produce good gloss. This applies to all solid colors, such as chrome 
yellows, Indian reds, Tuscan reds, black, etc. When the job is in a 
hurry and quick work paramount to durability, a good, hard drying,, 
rubbing varnish may be used in place of spar varnish. 

— 678 — 
Blistering of Paint Caused by Water. 

• A house was painted during November and December with three 
coats of pure lead and oil. Where the inside was plastered and al- 
lowed to dry, without fire, until February, the paint shows water 
blisters. 

We believe that in this case the blistering was due to the plastering,, 
although it may have been caused by dampness in the foundation. 
Still, inasmuch as you say that the paint blistered only on the siding- 
which was plastered inside, it is very reasonable to assume that the 
water in the plaster soaked into the wood and caused the paint to 
blister, because there is enough water present in plaster to dampen 
the wood to which it is applied. The lumber may have been green 
enough to help matters along. At any rate it will be risky to repaint 
unless the paint is removed with a paint burner, which will assist in 
removing any dampness that may be still in the wood. 

— 679 — 

Floor Finish for Soft Wood Floors. 

Soft wood floors are naturally much more difficult to prepare and 
keep in order than those of hard wood, because the wood itself is so 
much more subject to being marred. If paint cannot be used on such 
floors we are of the opinion that they should be colored with an oil 
stain and puttied up with colored putty that matches the stain. On 
top of this two coats of shellac varnish should be applied, and over 
this at least one coat of good, hard drying floor varnish. This is 
rather expensive, but the best method we know of. Hard wood floors 
are generally filled with hard wood filler, then puttied up and waxed 



7^ PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 277 

with wax floor polish, unless expense is not considered, when they are 
filled, puttied up and treated with several coats of shellac, rubbed and 
finished with high grade varnish and then polished. 

— 680 — 

Removing Grease Spots from Wall Paper. 

Calcined magnesia or carbonate of magnesia is mixed into paste 
form with soft water and applied to the spots with a soft brush. 
When the mass is dry it is carefully removed with a sharp knife, and 
if the spots are not entirely removed, the operation is repeated until the 
object is accomplished. 

— 681 — 

Paint and Varnish Removers and Their Effects. 

A sample of paint and varnish remover, in the original package, was 
received with a request to have it tested and to have a candid criticism 
of it 

We had one of our friends — an old veteran in the painting profession 
— interested in the matter, and he has given us a full report, which is 
as follows : I have tried the paint and varnish remover which you re- 
quested me to give a fair and impartial test, but please do not ask me 
to do a similar job for you again, for I came very near losing a very 
good customer, a man who owns quite a lot of real estate in my town. 
I was called to refinish a bathroom in natural wood' for' one of his 
tenants and thought there was a good chance to use the remover. I 
followed directions closely, applying the material to the surface to be 
cleaned off thickly with a brush; and the brush was not injured at all, 
as my experience has been with other removers, and in less than one 
hour's time I had all the varnish off and apparently part of the paste 
filler also. I used turps for washing down the woodwork, getting the 
old varnish, etc., well out of the mouldings, too, andjwas proud of the 
job. 

But during the operation, while the odor was not unpleasant, some- 
what like that of carbolic acid, I had inhaled fumes not unlike those of 
wood alcohol or something even stronger, that filled up my lungs, 
creating a very noxious sensation that I could not get rid of for sev- 
eral days after I had the job refinished. I had no idea, however, that 
the tenants of that dwelling would make such a howl over the mat- 
ter as they did. The head of the family called on my patron, the land- 
lord, and threatened to move and sue for damages, as I had poisoned 
the whole family, and so forth, and it took the owner quite a while to 
pacify the angry tenant. As a matter of course, I came in for a goodly 
share of the abuse from all hands concerned, and have made up my 
mind that before using any other nostrum of that sort, no matter how 
high sounding its name, I shall use the good old standby ammonia 
and turpentine or the oxalic acid solution, no matter how much slower 
the work may be. This paint and varnish remover may be good 
enough for exterior work, but I shall depend on the gasoline burner, 
wherever I can, and where a slight raising of the grain of the wood or 
a discoloration of hard wood is harmless and the burner cannot be 
used, I shall use the concentrated lye remover. 



278 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

There should be a law compelling the manufacturers of this ma- 
terial to plainly state on the label that the contents of package are 
poisonous, and should be used with the utmost caution. As far as I 
could ascertain by examination, the material is composed of a soft 
vegetable wax, carbolic acid, wood alcohol and mineral oil. It does 
not affect the grain of the wood, nor the bristles of any brush, but the 
fumes seem to penetrate every pore of the human system. 

— 682 — 

Repainting the Body of a Carriage Without Removing the Old Paint. 

Scrape off all of the varnish down to the color coats with a car- 
penter's scraper, about two inches wide, then cut down with sandpaper 
until you have a fairly smooth surface and dust off. Now give a coat 
of white lead, tinted with lampblack and thinned with one part japan, 
one part oil and two parts turpentine. Allow this to stand forty-eight 
hours, and putty up where required ; then give another coat of rough 
stuff and putty up again. After this give two more coats of rough 
stuff, apply your guide coat and rub, proceeding as you would on new 
work. By this method you will fill up whatever cracks there may 
have been in the old color coats, and obtain a good wearing job. 

— 683 — 

Best Paint for the Outside of White Pine Water Tanks. 

Trouble was caused by paint peeling from outside of white pine rail- 
way water tanks. 

We are afraid that no paint, especially linseed oil paint, can be made 
that will last for any great length of time under the conditions re- 
ferrred to in your question. The tanks being permanently filled with 
water, the moisture of course is permanently in the staves, which keeps 
the paint on the outside soft in the priming or undercoat, while the sun 
and atmosphere make the outer coat brittle and causes the whole to 
peel. Should suggest, however, that a priming and first coat of red 
lead paint would answer best, with a finishing coat of your regular 
yellow paint. 

Take for, priming dry red lead, mixing it with three parts raw lin- 
seed oil and one part coach japan, and for the first coat, over the prim- 
ing, also use a mixture of dry red lead and equal parts raw oil and 
coach japan, to which perhaps a trifle of turpentine may be added to 
make it spread well. Allow plenty of time for hardening between 
coats, and you will have a tough, cement-like surface, which will not 
be affected by moisture, like your regular paint, and your yellow paint 
will cover well over this groundwork. 

While we cannot guarantee absolute durability for this process of 
painting, we have found it the best in our experience. 

— 684 — 

Cleaning Brick Walls That Have Become Spotted with Mortar. 

Knock off the lumps of mortar with a scraper, also scrape off the 
mortar spots, where they are heavy, and remove balance by sponging 
with a mixture of equal parts commercial muriatic acid and soft water. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 279 

which will soften and remove the mortar. Finally wash down with 
clear water. This proceeding will also remove the white efflorescence, 
as well as dirt from bricks, making them look like new. 

— 685 — 

How to Prevent Moistures Striking Through Brick or Plastered Walls. 

Whenever a driving rain strikes the outside of a brick wall, the in- 
side of which has been plastered directly on the brick, the wall paper 
becomes damp and comes off. 

After a prolonged dry spell, which has given the wall a good chance 
to dry out, put on a good coat of oil paint, which will soak well into 
the bricks, then putty up the joints and all the holes that may be in 
the bricks with glazier's putty stained the color of your paint. When 
this is dry, give a second coat, not quite as oily as the first and finish 
off with a coat of flat brick color, or if this is undesirable, with a good 
glossy oil paint. 

— 686 — 

Preparing Whitewashed or Kalsomined Walls for Kalsomining. 

Glue and alum size had been successfully used in preparing for kal- 
somine some walls and ceilings that had been previously whitewashed 
or kalsomined ; while on other walls the size had no effect. 

We think that where your glue and alum size failed, the walls or 
ceilings were in extraordinarily bad condition, most likely greasy and 
smoky, and required washing with soap and water for the kalsomine 
and weak vinegar for the whitewash. However, the failure of your 
size in some cases may have been due to the quality of your glue. 
Good glue must swell in cold water, but not dissolve in it, nor should 
it dissolve too readily in hot water, without being first soaked for an 
hour or two in cold water. Much of the white glue on the market is 
very inferior, being mixed with starch or clay. We should advise you 
to try a size made as follows : Dissolve one pound of good glue, one 
pound of bar soap and two pounds of pulverized alum, each separately 
in one quart of boiling water, first having soaked the glue. Mix the 
glue and soap solution thoroughly, then add the alum solution slowly, 
stirring continuously. Add enough cold water to make it of the right 
consistency. For whitewash it should be made thinner than for kal- 
somine, so as to soak in deep enough to hold the whitewash. 

— 687 — 

To Make Plush Adhere to Metal Permanently. 

Plush was to be fastened on the bottom of certain heavy tin boxes to 
prevent scratching the tops of tables on which they were placed. 

Wash off with ordinary soda water the bottom of the tin boxes, 
wiping it dry with cloth. Coat tin with the juice of onion and press 
on this space a piece of fairly strong paper, smoothing it out so that 
there will be no blisters. When this has dried, the paper will adhere 
so that it can be removed only by scraping with a sharp instrument. 
Now give a coat of hot glue to the paper and press your plush down 
into the glue, and when dry and hard, the plush can be removed only 
by placing the tin box in boiling water. 



280 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 688 — 

Cement for Articles of Celluloid. 

To fasten celluloid to wood, tin, etc. 

Dissolve two parts by weight of white or orange shellac in four parts 
by weight of 95 per. cent, grain alcohol and three parts by weight of 
spirits of camphor. This will make a tough binding medium between 
the various articles, but the tin must be first washed with soda water 
and wiped dry and clean to free it from grease. 

— 689 — 

Removing Varnish or Floor Paint from Hardwood Floors. 

Take caustic soda or concentrated lye and dissolve the same in boil- 
ing water, keeping the solution hot while applying it. Have rubber 
gloves on your hands while you make or use the solution, and apply it 
with a cotton swab, because it would ruin brushes. Oil paints can be 
removed in a few minutes and varnish paints or varnishes will yield 
in from ten to fifteen minutes. When the wood has been cleaned of 
paint or varnish, it must be well washed with clear water, and if the 
wood has darkened from the action of the soda or lye solution, and this 
be objecttonable, in case the floor is simply revarnished and not 
painted, the darkening can be corrected by brushing dilute muriatic 
acid over it, and when the wood has resumed its natural color, it should 
be thoroughly washed with clear water and finally with weak soda 
water to neutralize any traces of acid still remaining. For applying 
the acid use bristle brushes that are not bound with iron wire. Mu- 
riatic acid should not be used, where iron or steel articles are lying 
about, and in using the soda lye, linen or cotton clothes should be 
worn, as a single drop of the solution will burn a hole through woolen 
goods. 

— 690 — 

Repainting Bicycles with Air Drying Enamel. 

As the cyclists do not give the repairer much time, w« do not think 
that air drying enamel will answer, because if made to dry too rapidly 
and hard, the paint will chip or scale at the lightest touch, while, on 
the other hand, if made to dry slow enough to remain elastic, the paint 
will become tacky or at least be too soft to be of good service. 
Bicycles, like carriages, often become splashed with mud, which, in 
many cases, is allowed to dry hard, and then takes some scrubbing to 
remove. This is not good for air drying varnish paint, because road 
mud has usually caustic properties, which will destroy paint, unless it 
is well baked on the enameled article. Most repair shops, therefore, as 
well as the factories, have their bake ovens and bake every coat from 
six to eight hours at from 200 to 300 deg. F. At a certain repair shop 
known to the writer the work is done as follows : The frame is first 
cleaned down by burning oflF the old enamel, then sandpapered smooth 
and washed with gasoline, then placed in the oven for six hours to burn 
oflF any remaining grease, taken out again and washed with gasoline. 
When the first coat of enamel is applied it should be allowed to set, 
and then baked for six hours at about 250 deg. F. When cooled, it 



7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 281. 

should be rubbed down with steel wool. The finishing coat should be 
baked for eight hours at 200 deg. F., and then rubbed down with a 
soft rag, then the varnish applied and baked eight hours at 200 deg; F. 
The frame must be allowed to heat and cool gradually, because the 
enamel is soft when hot. It is best to apply the enamels with soft 
brushes and give 300 deg. F. for black, and 200 deg. F. for colors, while 
white should be baked at between 170 and 180 degs. F. 

— 691 — 

Cheap Paint for Rough Shed. 

The following recipe has been published for making a cheap paint 
that looks and wears fairly well on rough or weatherbeaten surface : 
To a peck of lime, add before slaking three-quarters of strong rock salt 
brine and two pounds tallow and color with such dry earth colors as 
yellow ochre, raw or burnt sienna, Venetian red or umber. Remem- 
ber, however, that the material will dry out three or four shades 
lighter. Slake the lime with the required color in, let cool and apply 
with whitewash brushes. The tallow will make the wash waterproof 
and the salt hardens it. 

— 692 — 
Ebony Stain for Floors. 

Boil one pound of logw^ood in one pint of water until the water is 
strongly colored. Give two coats of this decoction to the floor, apply- 
ing it evenly and uniformly. This dry, go over it with a solution of 
copperas in water. A good black stain will be the result, which, after 
sizing, may be varnished, but rubbing it with a polish of beeswax and 
turpentine gives a still better eflFect. 

— 693 — 

Removing White Spots from Bricks and Terra Cotta Trimmings. 

From your statement that only one of the two kinds of terra cotta 
bricks used in the front show white spots, it is evident that the ef- 
florescence is due to mineral salts in the brick and no matter what 
neutralising agent you may employ, the spots will appear again and 
again, so long as there are soluble mineral salts in the material from 
which the brick or terra cotta facing is made. You cai\ remove the 
white spots by sponging the surface thoroughly with a mixture of 
equal parts of hydrochloric acid and water, and afterward washing 
down with clear water, but in nine cases out of ten the spots will re- 
appear after a driving storm, because the moisture sets free more of 
the salts, which have not been fully neutralized by the dilute acid. The 
best preventative, after the front has been sponged with the solution, 
washed down with clear water and allowed to dry thoroughly, would 
be the application of two or three coats of good oil paint, the finishing 
coat of which might be held flat. 



282 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 694 — 

Filler for Canvas or Muslin Banners. 

A filler for canvas or muslin banners was wanted, that should be 
more economical than white lead and should stand exposure to the 
weather. 

You, no doubt, use glue size before you apply your white lead. As 
banners must be painted with an elastic paint, we would not advise 
you to use any other white material but white lead, nor would we ad- 
vise you to use any of the so-called graded leads for this purpose. But 
as political banners are not required to hold out much over one cam- 
paign, why can you not make a mixture of pure keg lead and fine 
bolted whiting in the proportion of 70 to 30? 

— 695 — 

Durable and Fireproof Shingle Stains. 

We cannot give you any formulas for a fireproof shingle stain, and 
do not believe that such a material can be made, though fireproofing of 
wood under pressure has been accomplished with fairly satisfactory re- 
sults. But it is nonsensical to believe that simply dipping shingles 
into a stain will make it fire-resisting, as it stands to reason that a stain 
to penetrate sufficiently to make it durable must contain the necessary 
binder, which, as a matter of course, must not consist of water. As for 
making a sea green shingle stain, we would advise use of Prussian blue, 
Dutch pink and yellow ochre, all finely ground in linseed oil, thinned 
down to a semi-paste with boiled linseed oil and liquid drier and finally 
reduced with benzine to proper consistency for dipping. The thinner 
the stain, the more will it penetrate into the wood. In place of the 
benzine, or, at least, in place of part of the benzine, creosote or coaltar 
naphtha may be employed to preserve the wood and prevent fungus 
growth. * 

— 696 — 

Paper Hangers' Paste That Will Keep in Hot Weather. 

We do not know of any paper hangers' paste that can be made up 
of any cheap substance that will thicken or body up the paste and yet 
and keep from souring for several months, nor do we know 
allow it to retain its adhesive qualities. The following formula is the 
best we know of and will keep for a long time ; how long depends on 
the care with which it is made and where stored. If mold forms on top, 
it will do no harm : this may be taken off and the remainder used. Sift 
four pounds of wheat flour, beat it up in enough cold water until all 
lumps disappear, then add enough cold water to make a soft batter; 
have two ounces of powdered alum dissolved in hot water and stir this 
into the batter. Have a kettle of boiling water ready, take from fire 
and pour into the batter, while continually stirring; when the batter 
swells and loses the white color of the flour, the paste will be ready. 
This paste will suit for all ordinary conditions, but where great adhe- 
siveness is required, the cold batter should be "made as above and to 
this quantity one-half ounce of powdered rosin and one ounce of pul- 
verized sugar of lead be added, the whole placed over a moderate fire 



7iP PAINT QUESTIONS. ANSWERED. ' 283 

until it begins to boil, when more water is added and the mass con- 
stantly stirred until it thickens, when it is set away to cool. This paste 
will answer for painted or varnished walls, and before using should 
be thinned down with a weak gum arable water. 

— 697 — 

Filling and Varnishing Oak So That It Will Not Show Pitting. 

If your finished surface shows pit marks, the fault is either in your 
filler or in the way you use the same. Perhaps you wipe off too soon 
or wait too long. When you use prepared paste filler, apply it as per 
directions, but always use a good brush. As soon as the filler begins 
to set or show flat ,begin to rub it into the grain of the wood with a 
pad made of medium soft leather glued on to a block of wood, work- 
ing across the grain. The object is to get as much of the filler into the 
grain as possible. It is important to wipe oflf the surplus filler before 
it becomes too hard. Sometimes two coats of filler are required when 
the wood is very open. Give it plenty of time to dry hard, then apply 
at least one coat of white shellac and rub down with No. i sandpaper, 
after which apply at least two coats of varnish, the first coat to be 
rubbed down with curled hair. The shellac may be omitted, but in 
that case a coat of quick-drying varnish should be given in its place. 
The cost for material per square, for filling and three coats varnish 
(one coat shellac or rubbing yarnish and two coats finishing varnish) 
we would place at $1.75, while we should say that the minimum of 
labor per square will be twelve hours, and for high-class work not less 
than twenty hours. But you can determine this for yourself far bet- 
ter than we can, because there is a vast difference in the ability of 
workmen. 

— 698 — 

How to Prepare Smaltcd Signs on Wood or Tin. 

To smalt a color or gold letter sign on wood or tin, prepare your 
ground so that it dries with an eggshell gloss that will not allow the 
smalts to stick to it. Cut in around your letters with heavy color of 
same shade as your smalts, but do not have it fat or greasy, or it will 
spread and make ragged edges. Your color for cutting in must be 
slow drying, however, and for black it is best to use lampblack in oil, 
to which a little good drier is added. When you have cut in your 
sign, lay it on bench with large pieces of paper under it to catch the 
surplus smalts, put your smalts in a sieve of proper mesh and sprinkle 
until the entire surface is covered, then turn over the sign to remove 
the loose smalt and let stand aside to dry. There is no special size 
required for smalting a sign, the binder to hold the smalts in place 
being the heavy, slow-drying oil color mentioned above. 

— egg- 
Black Paint for Locomotive Fronts. 

All locomotive painters appear to agree that there is no paint made 
or will ever be made which will stand any length of time on the over- 
heated parts of a locomotive, as, for instance, the firebox, while lamp- 
black ground in a good engine finish will stand about the longest. 



1284 7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

Many have suggested painting these parts with graphite and linseed 
oil, others with lampblack and oil, allowing it to burn off and then let- 
ting the attendants go over the surface daily with oily waste, thereby 
producing a fairly glossy black surface. 

— 700 — 

Substitutes for Linseed Oil and Their Value. 

We are sorry to say that we cannot tell you of a good substitute for 
linseed oil, as we should be very glad ourselves to find or know of 
something that would actually take the place of that paint medium, 
and yet cost us only one-half or one-third as much. 

The fact is that the oils that are as good and in some respects bet- 
ter than linseed oil cost as much or m,ore than the latter, while some 
of the practically non-drying oils that are cheaper at first cost and 
might be substituted require more drier, costing as much in the end, 
besides being deteriorated still more by the use of so much driers. 
By using cheap oil you may be successful in securing contracts for 
a time, thereby undermining the existence of your brethren in the 
craft, but unless you wish to go out of business at an early date, or 
-desire to be looked upon with disdain, you had better think twice be- 
fore basing your estimates on the use of rosin oil, petroleum or japan 
oils and the like. 

We are opposed to the use of all nostrums, and cannot give you any 
information on the composition or pass any opinion on the compara- 
tive value of the paint oils you name. The very best way for you to 
determine their value is to make tests of them in comparison with 
pure raw linseed oil, using the same base or paste with all of them, 
applying a similar number of coats to raw wood, giving the test boards 
a severe exposure. It will not require many months to tell the tale, 
and convince you that in order to sustain reputation in business hon- 
-esty is the best policy, and honest linseed oil the best paint oil. 

— 701 — 
Composition of Various Colors and Tints. 

Many of the names given are those of the aniline type or coal-tar 
colors, but we will do our best to give an idea how they may be com- 
pounded from the more or less stable pigments. As pigments vary so 
much and diflfer so widely in point of strength we shall not attempt 
to name quantity of each required to produce them. However, as 
you have not mentioned whether you have water colors or oil colors 
in view, we would caution you against the use of white lead in mak- 
mg tints for distemper work, while you may take your choice between 
white lead and zinc white for making tints in oil, always thinking of 
the fact that zinc white will produce the cleanest tones and is not so 
apt to darken tints on interior work: 

Absinthe Green — Pale French paris green and white. 

Auburn — Indian red, drop black and Venetian red. 

Azure Blue — In oil, cobalt blue and finest zinc white ; in water, 
Bremen blue and little zinc white. 

Bay — Burnt umber, Dutch pink and Venetian red. 

Beaver — Drop black, not blued, and burnt umber. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 285 

Cafe au Lait — ^White, burnt umber, med. chro. yellow. 

Chestnut — Burnt umber, ivory black, yellow ochre. 

Chocolate — White and burnt umber, with trifle yellow. 

Damask Red — Rose madder or French carmine and a trifle scarlet 
lake or vermilion. 

Dove Wing — White, ultramarine blue and drop black, with tinge 
of red lake, 
touch of bronze red. 

Electric Blue — Chinese blue and ultramarine blue mixed and a 

Electric Green — Electric blue and. lemon chrome. 

Electric Turquoise — White, electric green, and electric blue. 

Egyptian Brown — Asphaltum for glazing or for solid work : Ivory 
black, not blued, and burnt umber. 

Fawn Pink — ^White, drop black or raw umber, vermilion and chrome 
yellow. 

Gothic Blue — Indigo or Chinese blue free of bronze, white and drop- 
black. 

Golden Russet Olive — Lemon chrome yellow and light Venetian^ 
red or burnt sienna. 

Heliotrope — Carmine lake and white. 

Jonquil — ^White and lemon chrome yellow. 

Isabella — Med. chrome yellow, burnt umber, Venetian red. 

Mauve — Rose madder, ultramarine blue, white. 

Morella — Rose pink, with trifle drop black and white. 

Muddy Amber — Burnt sienna, chrome yellow, drop black. 

Mulberry Red — Yellow ocher, burnt sienna, white. 

Murrey — Dark Venetian red, toned with red lake. 

Old Blue — White, Prussian blue and trifle yellow. 

Old Ivory — ^White and raw sienna. 

Old Pink — White, rose lake and raw amber. 

Old Red — Tuscan red and drop black, trifle white. 

Old Rose — Rose madder or carmine, white and trifle drop black. 

Pearl Drab — White, ultramarine blue, drop black, Venetian red' 
and ocher. 

Parrot Green — Ultramarine blue, Dutch pink and lemon chrome 
yellow. 

Pompeiian Red — Dark India red and red lake, or a good deep Tus- 
can red. 

Puce — Vandyke brown or burnt umber and drop black, with a trifle 
chrome yellow or ocher. 

Roan — Unblued ivory black and burnt umber. 

Russet Yellow — Orange chrome, white and burnt sienna. 

Shrimp^White, raw sienna and a trifle vermilion. 

Sorrel — Orange chrome, with Venetian red, or vermilion and ocher. 

Tan — ^White, burnt umber, yellow ocher and Venetian red. 

Tuscan Brown — Tuscan red, yellow and drop black. 

Tuscan Drab — Tuscan red, white and drop black. 

Vandyke Drab — Vandyke (Cassel) brown, white, ocher and drop- 
black. 

Vellum — ^This effect can be produced in oil by the use of strongly 
boiled linseed oil. 



286 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

Warm Olive — Gold dcher and raw umber, with a trifle drop black. 

Warm Olive Green — Medium chrome yellow, raw Turkey umber 
and ivory black. 

Warm Russet Olive — Orange chrome yellow, burnt sienna and raw 
umber. 

In the foregoing we have grouped the pigments so that the colors 
of which the greatest portion is required always heads the list and 
the one of which least is wanted is last named. 

— 702 — 
How to Secure a Dead Finish on Enamel. 

Whether the job is in white or in a tint matters but 
little; the treatment is the sam-e, but you can do away 
with the necessity of rubbing by having the next to the 
last coat fairly glossy and holding your finishing coat flat. Take 
French zinc white in poppyseed oil, mix it with turps and allow to 
stand, say, over night, and pour off the oil drawn out by the turpen- 
tine, then add some good paste drier and thin again with turpentine, 
running the result through straining muslin. See that the previous 
coat is perfectly free from the dust and specks, and apply the flat fin- 
ish quickly and evenly. This will make a perfectly dead flat finish, 
and if an ivory tint is wanted, use good raw sienna and a trifle French 
yellow lake ground in japan for tinting the zinc white. 

Should you want to change old enameled surface to a dead finish, 
and such old surface is free from checks and fissures, simply clean 
down the surface and moss it with pumice, water and curled hair, 
then allow to dry and apply a flat coat as suggested above for new 
work. 

_ 703 — 
Stippling Church Seats That Are Stained and Varnished. 

You cannot stipple over a varnished surface, because stippling is 
always done with water color. In graining the stipple is always ap- 
plied directly on the ground, the dry color being mixed as a rule with 
equal parts of water and stale ale or beer, rubbed on with a sponge 
in small spaces at a time and pounced or stippled with blender or dry- 
brush. When all the surface has been thus stippled and become dry, 
it is coated with a mixture of oil, japan and turps in equal parts, and 
this dry, the graining color is applied, and when this has been worked 
out and dried, the varnish coat finishes the job. In your case the 
stipple should be applied after the oil or water stain has been rubbed 
out with a cloth to show the grain of the wood and allowed to dry. 
Your stipple should be burnt umber mixed with stale ale or beer for 
walnut, and burnt sienna mixed in similar manner for cherry, and so 
on, applying it with a sponge lightly and pouncing quickly with a 
walnut stipple or a colander, and when dry varnish over. It requires 
some practice and judgment to do this work neatly. 



7iP PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 287 

— 704 — 

How to Prepare Plaster of Paris Ornaments. 

If your molds are made of wood or plaster, they should be coated 
with shellac varnish first, so as to prevent all suction, but this coat- 
ing must be thin and evenly applied, so as not to fill up fine lines in 
the model. Next a coat of a mixture of oil and soft soap is given, 
which will allow the cast to come out of the mold readily. Plaster 
molds that are not to be oiled may be made non-porous with one or 
more applications of a strong size of soap. Molds or models of metal 
that have a smooth surface require no coating, while models, such 
as antique marble ornaments, that must not be oiled in order to pre- 
vent spotting, may be covered with very thin tin foil before taking 
a cast. 

To be successful in making plaster ornaments the following points 
must be observed carefully: The mold must be so constructed that 
the cast can be removed without breaking any of its fine lines, that 
molds of wood or plaster must be shellacked to prevent suction, and 
greased with a mixture of non-drying oil and soap, that the plaster 
must be carefully selected and its quality ascertained by making a 
test in a small way. When mixing the material for a cast, the water 
must not be poured on to the plaster, but the plaster must be slowly 
stirred into the water until the proper consistency is obtained, which 
method prevents lumping. To slow up the hardening of the plaster 
cast, a saturated solution of borax is employed in place of clear water. 
One part of solution to twenty parts water retards hardening ten min- 
utes, one part of solution to ten parts water retards hardening for 
forty minutes, while equal parts of solution and water will retard the 
hardening for at least eight hours. A saturated solution of borax is 
prepared by dissolving borax in boiling water and after allowing the 
solution to, cool, pouring off the clear liquid from the crystalline sedi- 
ment, this liquid constituting a saturated solution of borax in ordinary 
temperature. 

Borax retards the rapid hardening of plaster, but the addition of 
marshmallow root not only retards quick hardening, but toughens the 
mass in a remark^able degree. Two to four per cent, by weight of 
finely pulverized marshmallow root added to 96 or 98 per cent, of 
plaster of paris and worked into a paste with 40 per cent, water will 
not allow the mass to harden for one hour, and make it so tough that 
when finally hardened it may be cut, turned, filled or drilled. A larger 
percentage of marshmallow root will retard drying and hardening 
still more and impart still greater toughness to the mass, so that it 
may be rolled into thin sheets on glass plates with an ordinary roll- 
ing pin, that will not crack on drying and may be rubbed to a polish. 
After c|rying this mass may be colored with water colors, varnished, 
rubbed and polished and by such process made water proof. 

— 705 — 

How to Fasten Celluloid to Other Articles. 

Take two parts by weight of bleached or orange shellac, according 
to your necessities as to color, three parts by weight of spirits of cam- 



288 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED 

phor and four parts by weight of 95 per cent, grain alcohol, put all in 
a well stoppered bottle, shake frequently and when the shellac has 
dissolved it is ready for use as a cement to fasten celluloid to wood, 
tin, iron or other metal, and also to glass. 

— 706 — 

To Fasten Cloth to Stone to Adhere Permanently. 

There is no composition known to us which would hold cloth on 
polished marble or other stone, because the polish would not permit 
adhesion. But by taking a coarse file or rasp and going over the pol- 
ish to roughen the surface, and then warming the same by placing 
hot sand upon it, the job can be accomplished in this manner. Re- 
move the sand before it becomes cold, then give the warm surface a 
good coat of ordinary joiner's glue and place your cloth down quickly, 
pressing down hard and smoothing it out from the center toward the 
edges. When the glue is hard, trim the edges. 

— 707 — 

Economy in Repainting Much Worn Surfaces. 

A number of Sadly weather beaten houses that had not been painted 
for years were to be repainted. The painter asked if he could make a 
good job by using for the first coat glue water and ocher, and then 
putting on two coats of lead and linseed oil paint. 

We do not approve of ocher alone as a priming for wood, even when 
mixed with pure linseed oil, and always advocate the addition of white 
lead for the purpose. Glue size, when properly applied, is good enough* 
to economize with on interior painting, but will not answer at any 
time for exterior work. The two coats of lead and linseed oil paint 
applied over a first coat of glue water and ocher would only mean the 
waste of a lot of good material and labor, whether it be applied to- 
frame or brick work. Your lead and oil paint is not impervious 
enough to stop the ingress of moisture and its action on the glue, and 
even if it were the moisture in the brick would act on the glue and 
throw oflf the surface coats. If you must economize, do not attempt 
to »lo it on priming, but rather on succeeding coats, because the first 
coat ic to painting what the foundation is to a building. To cheapen 
the cost of paint arid yet obtain fairly good results, it has been recom- 
m-ended that lead and linseed oil be mixed to proper consistency for 
br.ishing in one pot, and a similar quantity of bolted whiting with 
water in another pot, and when well mixed the two are to be thrown 
tOjE'ether in a larger package and beaten until they are amalgamated, 
when the required driers are added and the mass strained. This paint 
when applied in temperate weather and given plenty of time to dry 
is as good as many of the so-called linseed oil paints on the market^ 
and you need have no apprehension about its use, as you would neces- 
sarily have if employing glue size. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 289 

— 708 — 

Fading of Wall Paper in Light Blue Tint. 

In repapering a room where the color of the old paper had stood all 
right, the old paper was well soaked and scraped off and the walls and 
ceiling sandpapered well, and repapered with a paper at 40 cents per 
roll, a light blue tint for ceiling and frieze, and a darker shade of blue 
on the wall. The frieze and ceiling paper turned white, except in a 
few spots, while the wall color stood all right. In another room where 
a yellow tint was used, the paper held its color. The same paste was 
used on all the work. 

Your query is rather difficult to answer. It does not strike us as 
if your paste were at fault, and yet it may be. The blue tinted paper, 
at all events, must have been either very sensitive to light or is not 
alkali proof. It is just possible that your paste was a trifle caustic, 
or that the paper itself had some caustic properties that the color 
could not withstand, or, what is most plausible, that the blue used 
is not' light proof. Probably you have some small samples of the 
paper on hand, or the customer whom you papered the rooms for may 
have them. If so, expose part of a piece to the direct sunlight for a 
short time, keeping the other part of same piece in a dark place, and 
note effect. Also treat a portion of the paper with a weak solution 
of ammonia and see what happens. 

— yog- 
Composition of Steel Color for Painting Machinery. 

Steel color paint is a vague term, and the successful formulas are 
proprietary. We know of dozens of paints that are sold as steel colors 
to manufacturers of machinery, and each one appears to differ some- 
what from the other in depth of shade or hue, in point of fineness, in 
odor, in time of drying and also in finish. Some are .dead flat when 
dry, others have a high gloss, and others again have a sort of egg-shell 
finish. Many have the blue-black color of bar steel, others are grayish,, 
while many again are of the brown-black cast. To design or make a 
paint to imitate the color of steel, it is necessary to first intend for 
rough work or for fine finished surface. In some cases, too, three and 
even four coats are applied, two different preparations being used for 
the various coats, while for ordinary work one or at most two coats 
are deemed sufficient. 

Rapid drying appears to be one of the essential points demanded or 
expected in these paints, eight hours being the limit permitted on fine 
work, while four hours for each coat seems to be the time mostly 
looked for in the drying of the cheaper grades. These quick-drying 
paints cannot carry much oil in their composition, and therefore the 
vehicle must be a combination of japan, varnish and turpentine or 
benzine of a quality to conform to the selling price. The pigments 
also vary to a great extent, lampblack, drop black, graphite, mineral 
black, or a mixture of any two of these with a little ultramarine blue 
or Prussian blue and white lead or zinc white forming the bases, ac- 
cording to the depth of color that may be required. 



290 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

No doubt in the very cheap grades of these steel colors there are 
also dilutants in the form of barytes, silex and whiting introduced, es- 
pecially in such as are offered in paste form. 

But the very best grades that are sold at a fair price in a ready-to-use 
form, and dry with a high finish, appear to be composed of good pig- 
ments, ground and mixed with the best coach japan and good coach 
•varnish and thinned with pure turpentine. 

— 710 — 

To Attach Pearl to Glass Without Marring the Beauty of the Pearl. 

Take a clean pencil brush and a little clear damar varnish and go 
over the openings of the letters, two or three at a time, running a little 
over on the letter all around. Lay on your pearl carefully, breaking 
it into the proper size and fitting it as closely together as possible, until 
the opening is covered. When the varnish is dry and hard, the pearl is 
firmly attached. Now mix a little silver g^ay or pearl gray and coat 
over the pearl, covering all the openings. 

— 711 — 

Softening Hard Putty to Remove Window Panes Without Breaking. 

You can make a batter of caustic soda and soft soap, or take equal 
parts of potash and fresh slaked lime, both in powder, mixing these 
with water to the consistency of soft soap, and mix this with a like 
quantity of soft soap. Apply this with a wooden stick or spatula to 
the putty, which will soften it in a short time, so that it can be re- 
moved with the putty knife. But be careful to keep the mass off your 
hands, as it is very caustic in either case. 

— 712 — 

Applying Water Colors to the Plain Side of Wall Paper. 

This will depend very much on the quality of the paper. We should 
say that the paper should be first moistened, then stretched over an 
appropriate surface and held tight in some way or another. It will 
not do to dampen it too much, as the color is then liable to strike 
through from the printed side. At any rate you will require a weak 
glue size, and this will serve to moisten the paper with. Do not re- 
move the paper until you have applied your water color design and it 
has fully dried: then it will not wrinkle. 

— 713 — 
Finishing Hard Wood Mantels. 

The work of finishing hard Wood mantels is similar to that of finish- 
ing any hard wood furniture, and depends very much upon the quality 
of the goods and their selling price. To go into details, it would be 
necessary for us to know the particular kind or the various kinds of 
hard wood to be finished, and therefore we can only give an outline of 
the ordinary practice. Assuming that the wood is white oak or ma- 
hogany, and that the mantel has passed out of the woodworker's hands, 
it is thoroughly dusted and given one coat of the proper wood filler, 
a paste filler, thinned with turpentine to the consistency of varnish. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 291 

applied in a full flowing coat, natural color in the case of light oak, 
stained with a little raw sienna and raw umber for dark oak and stained 
with burnt sienna for mahogany. This coat is allowed to set, say 
from fifteen to thirty minutes, according to its drying qualities, when 
the surplus filler is removed by rubbing with excelsior or hair across 
the grain, so that the grain and pores will remain perfectly filled. 
After thirty-six hours the filler should be hard enough to permit of 
sandpapering, which should be done with the grain, never in a rotary 
motion or across the grain. This done, the work must be again care- 
fully dusted and examined to see whether it has been properly filled, 
and if not another coat should be given, or at least the defective places 
be touched up. Use No. o sandpaper to remove all particles of filler 
left oft the surface, and dust again. Filler is required on all open 
grained woods, such as oak, mahogany, chestnut, walnut, ash and but- 
ternut, while it is not needed for close grained wood. It is essential 
to rub the filler well into the wood, and after a good flowing coat has 
been applied with a soft bristle brush and before it has time to set, but 
begins to show flat, begin rubbing it into the grain with a piece of 
leather fastened to a block of wood, while on round work use a long 
leather strap to draw back and forth around the surface. When the 
work has been filled and sandpapered smooth, apply one coat of 
bleached shellac varnish and rub down with No. i sandpaper to a 
smooth surface. For high grade work follow this with bleached 
shellac varnish, rubbing each coat, when dry, with curled hair and fine 
pumice, excepting the last coat, which, in case it is to be in high polish, 
rub first with pumice and water, then with rotten stone and water, 
and polish with rotten stone and oil. If high gloss is desired, flow on 
a coat of cabinet varnish and omit rubbing. If eggshell gloss is wanted, 
rub the last coat with pulverized pumice and raw linseed oil or crude 
petroleum. 

The number of coats of shellac varnish or high grade rubbing var- 
nish, which may be used in place of the shellac after the first coat and 
with the exception of the finishing coat, is determined by the grade of 
work desired. . 

For ordinary mantel work in hard wood, the shellac varnish can be 
dispensed with and two or more coats of hard oil finish or furniture 
varnish used instead, but each coat, with the exception of the last, 
should be haired or mossed, and the last coat treated as above. 

— 714 — 
Paint for Blackboards Which Cannot Be Marred or Scratched by 

Chalk. 

The best blackboard paint is made by moistening four ounces dry 
lampblack with alcohol, rubbing it out with a spatula, gradually add- 
ing one quart of shellac varnish and stirring into this three ounces 
flour of pumice and three ounces finely pulverized rotten stone ; then 
straining through a fine sieve or strainer to break up any lumps that 
may have formed. This is applied quickly to the bare wood, so that 
no laps are formed, and in one hour's time a second* coat may be ap- 
plied, which, after a day or so, may be haired or mossed. The quan- 
tity mentioned should cover five boards four feet square two coats. A 



292 7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

cheaper method is to mix four parts, by weight, of lampblack in japan 
with one part, by weight, of 'ultramarine blue, also ground in japan,, 
and one part by weight of washed flour of emery. Add to this one- 
half part by weight of quick-rubbing varnish as a binder, and thin 
with turpentine sufficiently to flow on and not show brush marks. 
Three coats of this should be given, and when dry and hard the finish- 
ing coat haired down. A green paint for blackboards has lately come 
into vogue, and it is claimed that this is more soothing to the eyes than 
the gray tone given to lampblack. A formula for such paint has been 
communicated to the Scientific American by Mr. G. H. Bergmann^ 
principal of a school at Charleston, S. C, who claims perfection for it. 
It is as follows: Equal parts of Prussian blue and chrome green in 
fine powder, are mixed with gilders' sizing and alcohol, equal parts,, 
sufficient to produce a paint of creamy consistency. Apply with a 
large, stiff brush quickly and give a second coat after an hour or two. 
After twenty-four or forty-eight hours it may be smoothed with hair 
cloth and fine pumice. 

— 715 — 
Cement for Filling in Brass Signs. 

The best filling-in material is made by intimately mixing four 
ounces genuine asphaltum, four ounces brown shellac and four ounces 
dry lampblack. The asphaltum and shellac must be powdered, and 
the mixture is applied by heating the brass plate and melting in the 
cement. When the letters are filled, the cement is smoothed off with a 
fairly warm sad iron. When cooled off, scrape off the surplus care- 
fully and hold a warm sad iron over the letters to glaze their surface. 
Black sealing wax will also answer this purpose, under similar treat- 
ment. If the plates cannot be heated, make an unshrinkable black 
putty by mixing equal parts by measure of genuine asphaltum, var- 
nish and first-class coach japan and working into this enough dry 
calcined lampblack to make it very stiff. With this fill the spaces,, 
pressing the putty well in with the putty knife, then clean the edges 
with turpentine. When the filling has become thoroughly hardened, 
polish the whole plate. The same method will answer for signs of 
zinc or copper. 

— 716 — 
Refinishing Oak Doors That Are Badly Weather Stained. 

If possible, take the doors off the hinges and lay them down flat on 
some trusses or old boxes, and remove the old varnish with ammonia 
or a mixture of two parts strong ammonia and one part of turpentine 
and benzine, using a stubby brush to get into the cutwork and about 
mouldings. When all the old varnish has been removed, dope over the 
stained portions with a strong oxalic acid solution, and see whether 
you cannot bleach the wood by that operation. If this will not work, 
you have to resort to staining. Use raw sienna for light effect, and 
after staining use paste wood filler, colored to match the stain. Then 
proceed as you would on new work. If the light stain does not hide 
the weather stains, you will be obliged to use a darker stain and 
darker filler. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 293 

— 717 — 
To Keep Back the Water Stain in Kalsomine or Fresco Work. 

Water stains are very difficult to overcome, because they are often 
only shown after the first Coat of kalsomine or water color has been 
applied. If water stains are noted on ceilings, and there is a suspicion 
that there may be more of them, go over the ceiling first with a thin 
wash made of whiting and clear water, which, on drying, will show all 
hidden stains. 

If the sjain is a bad one, give a coat of a mixture made of equal parts 
boiled oil, japan and turpentine ; when this is dry, give a coat of shellac 
varnish of good body, then give the spots a coat of white lead in tur- 
pentine to dry flat, because kalsomine or water color is liable to scale 
if put over shellac directly. If the stains are light, one coat of shellac 
will stop them, but the flat white lead should not be omitted. For 
cheap work, a wall varnish will serve the same purpose as the shellac, 
but it is always a safer plan to put a coat of flat white lead over it. 
When the stain is old and dry and not too dark, and the cause of the 
stain removed, a piece of white paper carefully pasted over will hide 
the stain, but, of course, this should be resorted to only in the case of 
very cheap work. 

—718— 

Imitating Quartered Oak. 

It should always be borne in mind that in imitating quartered oak, 
or any other wood, that it is the natural we wish to imitate and not 
some one's idea of what it should be. Therefore, it is necessary to 
first study the various changes of grain and have the general character 
of the grains of the particular wood impressed on the mind before be- 
ginning to work. 

In graining to imitate quartered oak, wipe out the champs or veins 
with the rag, and soften the combed portions between the champs by 
drawing a rag folded three or four times toward the edges of the work 
previously wiped out with the rag. The edges of the champs may first 
be sharpened up by drawing the second joint of the forefinger against 
them. A fine comb is then lightly waved over the space of open work 
and the whole panel or mantel blended lightly crosswise with the flat 
l>rush. Or the work may be combed as described and permitted to 
dry before taking out the champs. In that case, when the work is dry, 
mix a weak solution of sal soda and add to it some dry umber, to show 
where you touch the work; put the solution on the champs with a 
fitch tool, let it stand a few minutes to soften the color, and wipe it oflF 
with a soft rag. It will be found that the graining color is taken oflF 
to the groundwork, giving the same eflFect as if it had been wiped out 
while the color was wet, but the work looks cleaner. When done in 
this way, the work should be overgrained. The champs may also be 
put on in dark colors over the combed work and left so, as some veins 
of oak appear dark in certain lights. These dark veins may be imi- 
tated by combing the work the same as if one was going to use the rag 
to wipe out. Do not blend, but put in the veins with a small fitch tool 
or frescjo liner dipped into some color from the bottom of your pot, not 



294 729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

too dark, and immediately blend one way, lifting the edge of the color. 
After some practice it will be found that a very good imitation of dark 
champs or veins is the result. • 

— 719 — 
Waterproof Cement. 

The following will stand heat and water: 

1. Take freshly calcined oyster shell lime, sift it well and grind fine. 
Make into a paste with white of egg. Apply to the fractures and press^ 
broken pieces firmly together. 

2. Also boil four parts, by weight, of gum shellac and one part, by 
weight, of borax in water until shellac is dissolved. Keep on boiling 
until mixture is of paste-like consistency. When required, heat and 
apply to fractures with a clean brush. 

3. Mix hydraulic lime and water glass. 

(Nos. 2 and 3 will not stand heat, but will stand water.) 

— 720 — 

Imitation of Quartered Oak by the Use of Straight Grained White or 

Southern Red Oak. 

The owner of a new house wanted the painter to finish the oak trim 
to match some twentieth century oak mantels, antique with elaborate 
quarter marks, part of which^were said by the man who sold the man- 
tels to be artificial, but it is difficult even for an experienced person to^ 
detect whether they are natural or not. He asked for the method em- 
ployed by the finishers in the furniture factories when they take a piece 
of straigjfit grained oak and make it appear as though it were quartered. 

Straight grained oak is cleaned up and dusted, after sandpapering, 
and the flakes are penciled in with white shellac varnish, then the 
whole piece of work is stained with a stain made of equal parts of tur- 
pentine, asphaltum and coach japan, thinned with turps. When set up 
the stain is wiped and permitted to dry hard, then the surface is filled 
with a dark paste filler that is colored with burnt umber and drop black 
to suit. When the filler is haired oflF the flakes or high lights are 
wiped out clean and good and will come up white. When the filler 
has become good and hard, give the usual coats of shellac and rubbing 
varnish, and rub with pumice and water or pumice and oil, and then 
polish in the usual manner. There is no acid used at all in these imita- 
tions. 

Golden oak finished veneering, often thought to be artificial veneer, 
IS not an imitation, but the natural run of quartered oak and most 
beautifully marked. It is simply stained with asphaltum, thinned' 
with turpentine, then filled with golden oak paste filler and the flakes 
are cleaned out by hand before shellacking, which is all the secret at- 
tached to the work. 

The number of coats of shellac and the number of coats of rubbing 
and finishing varnish and the labor expended on rubbing and polishing* 
depend entirely on the price obtained for such work. 

That a painter or grainer cannot compete on large contracts with a 
furniture or mantel factory is self-evident, the latter making a profit 
on the lumber as well as on the other material and labor. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 295 

— 721 — 
Wax Finish for Interior Work. 

If the work is hard wood, use paste filler and shellac varnish to ob- 
tain a surface. If soft wood, stain first and use liquid filler or shellac, 
according to the job. For polishing wax, melt two parts, by weight, of 
yellow beeswax (pure country quality), and use one part, by weight, 
of spirits of turpentine to thin the same. 

This is for finishing natural wood, after it has been filled and var- 
nished. For simply cleaning up and renewing polished furniture, one 
part beeswa^t and three to four parts turpentine make the best liquid. 
The wax and turpentine furnish the filling medium, and elbow grease 
does the rest. 

— 722 — 

To Finish Hard Open Grain Wood in the Highest Grade of Polished 

Finish. 

If the work is rough in places, sponge with clear, cold water ; when 
dry, sandpaper thoroughly. 

Fill with a good paste filler well rubbed in with tow and pad, and 
clean off with excelsior and cheesecloth. 

Sandpaper with No. o sandpaper, give two. coats of grain alcohol 
shellac, sandpaper well between coats, and then give one coat of cabi- 
net polishing varnish, rub down well with curled hair to a perfectly 
smooth surface and then flow on a coat of polishing varnish, full body. 

This finish should stand at least six days to harden, then rub to a 
dull, even surface with pumice stone and water. If a polish is desired, 
follow rubbing with pumice with rotten stone and water, after which 
give "hand polish." 

Graining. 

First coat with orange shellac, and after a thorough sandpapering, 
give two coats of ground, the last coat to be flat, then grain, and after 
three days varnish with a good quality elastic varnish. 

The use of oil in the ground coats or a hard drying, brittle varnish, 
is the cause of grained work cracking; the graining should stand at 
least three days before varnishing. 

If the woodwork is of select white pine or poplar and a first-class 
job is desired, prepare with two coats of good varnish for ground, in- 
stead of paint, and after a thorough sandpapering, stipple in distemper 
colors before graining; after graining, finish with one coat of good 
quality varnish. 

Floors — Varnish Finish. 

Give one coat of white shellac (if open grained wood specify first a 
coat of paste filler), then two coats of floor varnish (one pint of tur- 
pentine to the gallon), and rub to a dull, even finish with pumice stone 
and oil. 

Wax Finish. . 

Give one coat of white shellac (or paste filler if open grain wood), 
then wax to a smooth, even surface with a weighted brush. 

Floors can be finished cheaper by substituting liquid filler for shellac, 
but shellac makes by far the better job. 



296 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

— 733 — 

Formula for Water Proof Cement for China. 

Make a paste composed of hydraulic lime and silicate of soda (solu- 
ble glass). Make it just before use, as it will harden rapidly. 

— 724 — 

Probable Cause for the Failure of Pamt to Stand in the Repainting of 

a House. 

The questioner had painted a house with a standard brand of white 
lead and linseed oil made by a well known crusher. In June, ten years 
later, he started to repaint, using the same brand of white lead, also 
the colors and oil made by this firm, taking four days to apply the first 
coat and allowing two weeks before the second, or finishing coat was 
begun, requiring eleven days to complete the job. The body of the 
work was French gray, the trim light stone, and the blinds dark green. 
Inside of three weeks the green paint on the blinds began to look 
dead and very much faded, the body in less than four months began to 
fade and appear dead in spots, which showed up lighter than the rest 
of the surface, while the trim cracked in some places. The material 
has the best reputation, the house was \p. fair condition, and the painter 
had seventeen years' experience. 

The brands of material you mention are known to be pure and of 
established quality, and while the best may sometimes fail, there is, 
apparently, only one explanation. Unless the painter who mixed the 
paint, doped the material with some cheap nostrums, it may be taken 
for granted that the condition of the surface was not in as good a state 
as you were led to believe, and that you did not have sufficient linseed 
oil in your first coat to satisfy the dryness or absorption of the sur- 
face. If you had given the surfacfe, before applying the first coat of 
paint, a thin lead and oil wash, we think you would have had better 
success. It stands to reason that timber, which has not been painted 
for ten years, is extremely dry and the lead paint, if still there, is in a 
dried-out, powdery condition, and will absorb the oil from the first coat 
of paint applied over it. This coat being robbed of some of its oil, in 
turn robs the finishing coat, and this taking place to a greater extent 
in some spots than in others, explains the spotted condition of the 
body color. 

That the trimming shows cracks in some places is most likely due to 
its having been applied on top of the body color, before the latter was 
thoroughly dry. As to the blinds going in dead in less than three* 
weeks, we judge that to be due to the absence of sufficient oil to hold 
out the gloss. Commercial chrome greens are not good oil absorbers 
at any rate, and hence very apt to look dry and faded in a very short 
space of time. To remedy the trouble and satisfy the owner by the 
most economical method, we would suggest that you give the blinds a 
coat of good outside varnish or at least a coat of boiled linseed oil, and 
that you take boiled linseed oil and go over a small space of the body 
of the house with a coat of that in order to see whether you cannot 
restore the original color and make the dry and faded-looking spots 
disappear by this plan. If this does not succeed, your only remedy 
will be to give the premises a third coat of paint with a sufficiency of 
linseed oil of good body all over. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 297 

— 725 — 

Dressing or Polish for Linoleum Floor Cloth. 

One pound yellow beeswax dissolved in one gallon turpentine makes 
a polish for linoleum cloth. It is applied with a soft rag. 

Another good dressing is made by melting five pounds paraffine wax 
with one pound palm oil. When melted, take from fire and add one 
pound kerosene oil. Apply with a rag. 

— 726 — 

An Effective Remover of Paint and Varnish from Floors. 

Make a hot solution of caustic potash and apply while hot with swab 
made of cotton waste. The hardest kind of paint will yield to this in 
a few minutes, and varnish will not resist much longer. If possible, 
wear India rubber gloves while working with this lye ; at least, be very 
careful to keep it from touching your skin. As soon as the paint or 
varnish has been removed, clean up and wash the floor well with clear 
water and allow to dry before repainting or revarnishing. Should the 
wood darken as in the case of oak floors, and this be objectionable, go 
over the floor with dilute muriatic acid; but as soon as the wood is 
bleached enough, rinse with clear water and then follow with a weak 
solution of washing soda to neutralize all traces of acid. To apply the 
dilute acid, use bristle brushes, which are unaffected, unless bound 
with iron. Cotton, swabs or rags will not answer, because the acid 
will destroy them quickly. While using the caustic soda solution do 
riot wear woolen clothes, unless you have overalls over them, as a 
drop of the lye, falling on woolen goods, will immediately make a hole. 

— 727 — 

One Result of Painting with Oil Claimed to Be Better Than Linseed 

Oil. 

A Massachusetts painter was induced to buy some oil that was 
claimed to be better than linseed oil. Early in the spring he used two 
gallons of it in paint that was put on the clapboard part of a house. 
Immediately after application the paint became darker, and it seemed 
as if all the oil had come to the surface. In two months all the paint 
could be taken off with a stiff brush, leaving the surface very greasy. 
This oil, or grease, was removed with benzine, and the surface was re- 
painted with paint containing pure linseed oil and drier only. This 
appeared in excellent condition until a heavy rain in the middle of De- 
cember. Where the rain beat against the paint, it looked as though 
all the color had disappeared, although the paint was still hard as it 
was where the rain had not touched it and where the color was still in- 
tact. Oil applied does not seem to bring back the color. 

Although we have not yet received a final report on your sample of 
oil, we can advise you that it is a nearly pure mineral oil, flavored with 
a product of the pine or fir tree to disguise the petroleum odor. The 
iridescence or bloom alone will disclose its origin, although it appears 
as if some attempt at de-blooming has been made with poor success. 
Your experience is only another instance of the fallacy of the belief 
that gold dollars may sometimes be bought for 75 cents or even less. 



298 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

Of course, when linseed oil is as high price as it has been during the 
current year, there is a great temptation to find a cheaper substitute, 
but it should always be borne in mind that every new article should be 
tested on a small scale before using it on large or even small jobs, 
where in case of a failure, it means not only loss of money, but also of 
reputation. As to the remedy, you did the best there was to be done 
by taking off the never-drying, greasy paint and washing the bare sur- 
face with benzine, and we hardly believe that there was enough min- 
eral oil left remaining in the wood when you repainted to do any dam- 
age ; nor do we think that the bleaching out of your new paint by that 
rainstorm was caused by the wood having been still impregnated with 
mineral oil. You omitted stating which sides of the house were most 
attacked by the driving rain, or we might have drawn our conclusions 
more intelligently. Try again a mixture of three-fourths boiled lin- 
seed oil and one-quarter turps, applying same with a rag liberally on 
some of the faded portion of the paint, rubbing it same as in polishing 
furniture, and if the color does not return and the paint is still hard, 
then the trouble is due to your coloring matter, and you will be obliged 
to give at least one new coating; probably a skim coat will do it. 
Should you find, however, that the paint is chalky, very soft or loose, 
then you may have to remove it to the bare wood. 



— 728 — 
Cheap Sizes for Walls to Be Kalsomined or Painted. 

It is always best to first go over whitewashed walls with strong 
vinegar and then give one or preferably two coats of the following 
size : Soak one pound of good white glue over night in soft' water, 
pour off the cold water and dissolve the glue in hot water in the usual 
way. Slice one pound rosin soap fine and dissolve in water by heat. 
Dissolve two pounds alum in hot water. Then stir the dissolved glue 
and soap together, and when well mixed, put in the alum solution. 
Now thin the mixture with warm water, until it is of proper con- 
sistency .for the brush. This size works well over old whitewash or 
over old kalsomine, and if two coats are applied will keep water stains 
from showing. 

The size, however, should be applied as warm as possible, and if 
possible, the room should be fairly warm also. A cheap size for new 
walls to be painted is made as follows : Take five ounces of sal soda, 
one ounce powdered borax and twenty ounces powdered rosin; stir 
these into one and one-quarter gallons of boiling water and keep stir- 
ring until dissolved. In another vessel have five ounces good white 
glue dissolved in one gallon of water, to which add one gill (one-quar- 
ter pint) of the first solution, and boil both solutions separately for 
about ten minutes; then mix the two, strain, and the size is ready for 
use. It is best to apply this warm, and still better if applied over a 
priming coat of white lead, instead of applying it to the plaster direct, 
but may be used either way. 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 299 

— 729 — 
Painting Galvanized Iron Cornices and Spouts. 

An Illinois painter gives the following as his method for painting 
galvanized iron and tin on the side (not the roof) of a building : 

The galvanized iron is allowed to stand three months exposed to the 
weather before painting. 

For first coat, .Venetian red, ipixed with raw linseed oil, driers and 
enough turps to have it dry with dull gloss. 

Second coat : White lead, colors to suit, raw linseecl oil, dryers and 
enough turps to also dry with dull gloss. 

Third coat: White lead, colors to suit, raw linseed oil and driers, 
but no turps. This is mixed stout and allowed to stand for five days 
before using. Giving three coats as described makes the job hold for 
seven or eight years. In repainting he treats such jobs as he would 
old woodwork, giving two coats of lead paint. 

Your method is, without any doubt, an excellent one, and cannot be 
criticised, unless on the point of expediency. The success of your 
method does not have its origin altogether in the materials you em- 
ploy or in the way you mix and apply them, but is to be looked for 
chiefly in the fact that you do not touch the metal before it has been 
exposed for three months to the weather. This exposure produces a 
gray film of oxidized zinc on the surface, upon which your first coat 
obtains a good hold. In addition to this, your first coat is thinned, so 
as to dry with an eggshell gloss. If you gave an all oil paint it would 
not hold on so well in spite of the gray film of oxidation. The succeed- 
ing coats or their composition cut no figure in the adhesion, but only 
give so much more stability and durability to the work. Now while 
we commend your methods to our readers, whenever they can follow it 
to the letter, we must also point out to you where they would be 
obliged to employ other methods. A job of painting new galvanized 
iron cannot always be permitted to stand for three months, but very 
often it is required that it be painted as soon as it is put up, as is the 
case in the building operations of large cities or in localities where 
gases abound that would destroy the metal before it had been put up a 
few months. For such cases we know of a wash that will artificially 
produce the film in a few hours, for the production of which nature re- 
quires months. This wash consists of a solution of one ounce each of 
chloride of copper, nitrate of copper and sal ammoniac in one-half 
gallon of water, made in a glass or earthen vessel, and to which, when 
perfect, one ounce of crude or commercial hyrdochloric acid is added. 
This is applied with a wide, flat brush, and in a few hours the metal 
turns black, similar to graphite, and on drying becomes a light gray. 
After twelve hours the non-adhesive salt is removed with a dry brush. 

A first coat made of red lead or a mixture of red lead and red oxide 
or Venetian red, thinned with raw oil, driers and turpentine to dry 
with eggshell gloss, will hold for years and may be finished with one or 
two coats of any desired color or oil paint. We prefer a heavy paint in 
point of specific gravity for this first coat as against those of great 
bulk and light weight. 

A foreign exchange recommends that metallic gray zinc (not zinc 
oxide), so-called gris, be employed as the pigment for such a priming 
coat, and linseed oil and driers for the vehicle. 



300 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

—no— 

Proper Way to Mix White Lead and Zinc for Exterior House 

Painting, 

We would suggest that 75 per cent, of pure white lead 
and 25 per cent, zinc white make the best finish in exterior house 
painting, because the zinc white will not permit the paint to chalk and 
the white lead will not permit flaking or cracking. The above propor- 
tions are intended to mean dry lead and zinc white, hence a mixture of 
say 73 pounds of pure white lead in oil and 27 pounds of zinc white in 
•oil would answer the purpose. 

It is best to break each of these up separately, thin to proper con- 
sistency for spreading with raw oil and the necessary drier, mix and 
run through a paint strainer. If both lead and zinc are of good 
quality, the quantities mentioned should take up at least six gallons 
of thinner and cover well. But we do not recommend this combina- 
tion for priming raw wood. Some writers have recommended equal 
parts of lead and zinc, others two-thirds lead and one-third zinc, but 
we think the above the safer proportions. 



r39 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. yoi 



TESTING PAINT.MATERIALS. 



—731— 
White Lead. 

It will be conceded by every member of the craft that to be success- 
ful in business depends to a great extent upon a thorough knowl- 
edge of the material employed, as well as on the ability to purchase 
the same ; that is, to receive value for value. It is, therefore, necessary 
for the painter, as well as any other business man, to make frequent 
tests and comparisons of materials purchased, in order to ascertain 
where, in these days of sharp competition^ he will procure not only 
the best, but the most economical goods for his particular purposes. 

Some brands of material may appear, at first sight, to be cheap, but 
on close scrutiny or calculation, after practical use, be found very 
dear in the long run. Not only that, but the use of inferior material 
may lose the painter the patronage of good customers and ruin a 
heretofore good reputation. 

Recognizing the necessities of some instructions for the younger 
members of the craft, we propose to point out, in the following pages, 
a few simple, but practical methods which may be successfully applied 
in testing and comparing the materials employed by the practical 
painter, such as white lead, colors, linseed oil, turpentine, etc. 

White lead, being the foremost of painters' materials, will receive 
our attention first. We shall not waste time with a rehearsal of its 
chemical composition, its origin or the various processes of its manu- 
facture, because that subject has been so thoroughly ventilated in 
painters' conventions and in the trade publications that it is Almost 
common property. As to the purity of a brand, the name of a repu- 
table corroder on the package is usually sufficient guarantee. If, how- 
ever, any suspicions arise, a sin^ple test, which any painter after a short 
practice can make satisfactorily, consists of the following : 

For dry white lead, take a medicinal test tube, thoroughly dry and 
clean, and place therein about one scruple (20 troy grains) of the sus- 
pected article and then fill the tube half full with dilute nitric acid, 
which can be procured at any drug store. Pure white lead will show 
effervescence and dissolve completely in a short time, while barytes 
will remain as an insoluble precipitate in the bottom of the tube. 
Adulterants of a lighter specific gravity require a chemical knowledge 
for detection, but are scarcely ever found in dry white lead, because 
of their greater bulkiness. 

For white lead in oil the blowpipe test is recommended as most sim- 
ple. A gas flame or spirit lamp, a blowpipe and a piece of close- 
gramed charcoal is all that is required. A small cavity dug into the 



302 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. ' 

charcoal, a portion of the lead as large as the head of a very small pea 
placed into the cavity and the point of the blowpipe directed upon the 
lead with a steady blast, will readily reduce pure white lead in oil to a 
button of metallic lead, leaving the charcoal without a trace of any 
other substance. If any zinc, barytes, whiting, clay or silica be pres- 
ent, even if only to the extent of from five to ten per cent., there will 
be no formation of the metallic button, but the substance will have 
the appearance of a whitish, yellow or gray, cinder-like mass. Sul- 
phate of lead can be reduced only with difficulty, after long-continued 
blast or with the addition of powdered borax as a fusing material. 

White lead in oil should be of fair stiffness, not too oily, when taken 
from the package, especially when wanted for interior work, but have 
a polished appearance and should not be rough or granular in appear- 
ance, though in very cold weather this is not an uncommon occur- 
rence, which will do no real harm, if the grainy character is due to 
transformation or storing in extremely cold localities, because a few 
days in a warm place and a little paddling will bring it back to its nor- 
mal condition. In such cases the granular character of white lead is 
due to the chilling or solidifying of the linseed oil, in which it is 
ground. White lead, when thinned with spirits of turpentine only and 
spread upoh a piece of glass, should be a neutral white, showing neither 
a yellow nor a gray or pinkish cast. Nor should it have the glaring 
whiteness of zinc white, the nearest approach being that of a clean 
lime whitewash, not blued. The best comparative test for whites is to 
spread those to be compared side by side upon a piece of glass or other 
surface that has previously been coated with a clear, glossy white and 
allowed to become thoroughly hard, passing judgment only after the 
whites to be compared have become dry in a dust-free place. The 
fineness of white lead may be determined by spreading the paste lead 
upon a piece of smooth glass with a steel spatula that has true, smooth 
edges. Though the lead may appear rough in this test, no grit must 
be felt on spreading it. A more accurate test is made by breaking up, 
say four ounces of the lead wtih one ounce of turpentine, spreading this 
mixture on a clean, smooth piece of glass and allowing it to dry, when 
it must show no sanded appearance, but be perfectly smooth in order 
to be of required fineness. Good white lead must take up a certain 
percentage of thinners, so that it will not run or sag, as is the case 
when it will not absorb a sufficient quantity or will not lay to the sur- 
face closely. If too much thinner is required, on the other hand, it is 
apt to show poor covering properties. Five gallons of raw linseed oil 
of good body to the lOO pounds white lead in oil is a good, fair stand- 
ard for finishing coats on exterior housework, though sometimes it 
may be necessary to have the paint stouter and omit some of the oil in 
order to save in the number of coats. 

The covering, or as ordinarily termed, the body of white lead is best 
determined by thinning a portion thereof to the proper consistency for 
application, noting the amounts of lead and thinners used and applying 
the paint in one, two and three coats over. pieces of japanned tin or 
boards, previously coated with a dead black. White lead of good , 
body, thinned as above stated, will on third coat cover up so well that 
the black ground is fully obliterated. 



T39 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 303 

• 

To determine the covering properties and value to the consumer of 
competitive brands of white lead we should proceed as follows : If the 
test can be made on a small scale only, take as many pieces of black tin 
as there are brands to be tested, all the pieces to be of similar size and 
condition, weighing the same and noting weight on the under side of 
the tin. Now a certain portion of each brand of lead is weighed off, 
say one pound, and each one thinned with, say six ounces of raw lin- 
seed oil, and the lead so thinned spread on evenly and uniformly to the 
surface of the tin, marked with the name or number of the brand, tak- 
ing care, however, to keep paint off from the edges. Immediately 
after applying each coat, the tin should again be weighed to determine 
amount of paint used, and this should be taken into consideration when 
the degree of covering of each brand is determined. 

If the test can be made on a sufficiently large surface, a certain por- 
tion of the lead from each brand should be thinned to the proper con- 
sistency for application without regard to the quantity of thinners re- 
quired, but the amount noted for calculation. Using a different brush 
for each pot of paint, a similar sized area of surface should be coated 
with each paint, pot, paint and brush to be weighed before starting and 
after coating the required space. By following either method the cov- 
ering properties as well as comparative values of each brand can be 
readily determined. 

When, however, there is no large area of surface at hand and the 
painter desires to test the working properties of white lead, let him se- 
lect boards that are finished like the sides of a frame dwelling, say 
about five or six feet long, and ten or twelve inches wide, and paint a 
broad black stripe about the middle ; then treat the board as he would 
a building, applying first a priming coat, and follow with second and 
third coats, making notes of the amounts used as well as the working 
of each lead under the brush, whether the lead is long or short, whether 
it fills well on priming and how well each brand has covered on the 
finishing coat. Whenever such tests can be made they are more con- 
clusive; the test on japanned tin is suggested only for comparing small 
samples. 



—73' 
Oil Colors. 

In testing oil colors for their intrinsic value the practical man will 
consider tinting strength or staining power and fineness of grinding 
above everything, and then the brightness, richness or brilliancy of 
tone, and lastly the opacity, or body of the solid colors and the trans- 
lucency of the transparent or glazing colors. In the following we 
shall exclude the consideration of the high-priced artist's colors and 
deal only with those that are indispensable to the house painter, the 
decorator and the signwriter. 

To test competitive brands of oil colors for their comparative value 
we would give the following as a guide : Upon opening the respective 
packages remove the skin, if such has formed on the color, and then 
with a small paddle or stick beat the contents of package to uniform 
consistency. Next place a small portion of the color from each pack- 
age on a piece of clean, smooth glass and work the color backward and 



304 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

forward with a steel spatula that has true edges, and grit or coarseness 
will be apparent by scratches on the glass. This test requires some 
practice and judgment, because the more oily the color the finer it will 
appear. A more accurate test for fineness is made by thinning certain 
portions of the competitive brands to equal consistency, applying the 
material with brushes of same size and character on a smooth surface^ 
and allow it to set up or dry before passing judgment. To determine 
tinting strength or staining power a certain portion of white lead in oil 
is weighed off, or as many such portions as there are brands of oil color 
to be compared, and a much smaller portion of each of the colors are 
also weighed and with the aid of a steel spatula intimately mixed, with- 
out, however, grinding the material. Such tests may be made on a 
very small scale, or when the painter has use for the material in the 
near future, it is best to weigh out loo ounces of white lead and one 
ounce of color of the strong groups and double or treble that quantity 
of the weaker stainers. Thinning the various mixings with the neces- 
sary oil and driers to proper consistency, they may be applied side by 
side and allowed to dry hard, when the tinting strength of each may be 
gauged by the depth of tint produced : and this, if the work has been 
handled neatly and with clean tools, will also determine purity of tone 
in each color. 

In times of leisure or enforced idleness, however, it will benefit the 
younger members of the craft to test the samples offered by competi- 
tive paint houses or their representatives in tubes, and here the testing 
must needs be done on a small scale. A large piece of plate .glass or a 
marble slab placed on a bench or table, a small prescription scale, an 
oil can or oil dropper, and two steel spatulas and a few pieces of glass 
are all that is required as outfit. Pieces of oiled or glazed paper of 
equal size and weight may be used to weigh the lead in oil, and the oil 
colors on and for every brand of color to be tested loo grains of white 
lead are weighed out, and then one, two or five grains of each of the 
colors, according to the supposed tinting power of the color under test. 
No allowance should be made for softer or stiffer consistency, because 
it is value that is to be determined, not of the color as a pigment, but 
as a color in oil. A certain number of drops of oil should be added, an 
equal number to each of the mixings, and the white lead and color be 
thoroughly mixed on the slab with a steel spatula without grinding 
and then placed on clear glass in a sufficiently thick film to cover until 
all the competitive brands are exposed to view side by side. If the 
exact value of a color is to be determined, add to the strongest as much 
white lead as is necessary to reduce it to the same depth of tint as that 
made by the weakest color. For instance, if one grain of lamp black in 
oil and lOO grains white lead in oil produce a tint apaprently twice as 
deep as another brand of lampblack, also one grain of black to lOO 
grains of white lead, then weigh out 250 grains white lead and one 
grain of the stronger black and keep on adding from the 250 grains of 
white to the black until a tint similar to the weaker one is obtained ; 
then weigh the remainder of the 250 grains of white, and if 60 grains 
remain the strong black has a value of 90 per cent, greater as a tinting 
or staining black. 

This rule relates to all oil colors so far as their value for tinting is 
considered. It may be in place to caution novices to be very careful 



739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 305 

to have their slabs, glass and spatulas scrupulously clean before each 
mixing, in order to give a fair trial to each brand. Wiping cloth, some 
benzine and pumice stone are indispensable necessities in this connec- 
tion. To test colors in oil for depth and richness of tone, as well as 
for shade, it is self-evident that the various brands should each be 
thinned to a like consistency and applied over the same kind of sur- 
face, best over old painted work, and allowed to dry, when an impartial 
judgment may be had. 

As to the determination of the opacity or covering power of the 
solid colors, each of the competing brands of similar name should be 
thinned in exactly the same proportion and applied as thinly as pos- 
sible over a strong contrasting ground and the films allowed to dry, 
when even the novice will be enabled to note existing differences in 
covering. 

Transparent colors are best thinned and applied in a like' manner to 
clear glass with soft brushes, and their value determined by the trans- 
lucency of the gla?e. Durability and permanency of colors can be 
satisfactorily determined only by painting the various brands on 
proper groundwork on panels, exposing to strong light and the ele- 
ments side by side. An unobstructed southern exposure will give the 
most rapid results, and as long as the same thinners have been em- 
ployed the groundwork and surface having been precisely similar, such 
results should be accepted as conclusive. If the shades of brands of 
colors of similar nature differ it is best to keep part of the panels inside, 
away from strong light, in order to facilitate comparison of the ex- 
posed samples. 

Now, before we proceed to go over the list of colors in detail, it 
might be well to state that we do not propose to burden this article* 
with a series of chemical tests for which the painter is not equipped^ 
nor for which he has time to spare. 

He wants value for value, and by following the foregoing sugges- 
tions he can determine readily to his own satisfaction whether or not 
he obtains the same in his purchases. What he requires is an oil color 
of buttery consistency, not too oily, not too stiff; a paste that is not in- 
clined to liver or ropiness, that will mix well with any vehicle when 
properly treated in the thinning process. Nor does he care to have a 
lot of worthless sediment in his pDt after mixing and using part of the 
color, and, therefore, he should shun goods that are not of good fine- 
ness and strength, because adulterated oil colors and great strength or 
staining power do not go together, because loading colors with cheap- 
bases will just take away from the inherent strength of a pigment to 
the amount of percentage of dilution or adulteration (extenders of 
color or paints, as they have been termed by some writers). We. shall 
now proceed to point out certain characteristics of oil colors in detail, 
beginning with the blacks. 

—733— 
Blacks. 

Of the blacks lampblack is of most interest to the house painten 
True, lampblack is of great density of color, great bulkiness, and pro- 
duces a bluish gray tint with white lead. Gas carbon black in oil is 



3o6 7JP PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

often sold as lampblack, but has a rather brown tone and produces a 
brownish-gray tint. Lampblack is usually adulterated with barytes or 
whiting, sometimes with both. In such cases it is far less bulky than 
the pure article, and lacks in strength. Drop black is, as a rule, of the 
grayish black type, not as dense as lampblack by long odds, and does 
not absorb, pound for pound, one-half the amount of thinner, nor has it 
much more than one-sixth of the tinting strength of lampblack. Its 
tint with white is also of the brownish-gray order, unless blued, but it 
produces a far cleaner tint than gas carbon black. Sign writers' black 
is usually lampblack ground with driers, sometimes drop black and 
carbon black in combination. 

—734— 
Blues. 

Next to the blacks, in alphabetical order, we have the blue colors. 
Those of interest to the house painter and signwriter comprise cobalt 
and ultramarine, Chinese and Prussian blue, as oil colors only. The 
cobalt and ultramarine blues of commerce are artificial products, but 
are very staple pigments. Imitation of cobalt blue produces a more 
opaque effect than the artificial ultramarines, and may be recognized 
by its more greenish undertone in comparison with the usually violet 
tone of most of the ultramarine blues. When used with white the tint 
of imitation of cobalt is not as glaring as that which is produced by the 
majority of ultramarines. Ultramarine blue can be found in various 
tones from greenish to distinct violet. The former are usually much 
stronger, the latter decidedly weaker. Those with a violet tone, how- 
ever, are best adapted where it is intended to apply varnish, because 
they are not so apt to show a greenish effect as the other. Adultera- 
tion in these blues is rarely met with, and the painter can select his 
purchases by testing for richness of tone and tinting strength. 

Chinese and Prussian blues are of nearly similar composition; the 
best selections are usually sold as Chinese blue.' Those brands that 
show a pronounced bronze cast are usually strongest, and produce the 
cleanest tints. The test for strength with white lead will give the best 
idea as to their real value, and will also give a fairly accurate idea as to 
clearness of tone. In testing these blues the maximum white and the 
minimum blue should be employed,"because pure Chinese or Prussian 
blue is one of the very strongest tinting colors at the command of the 
painter, and the test liable to mislead when the tint is made too strong. 

—735— 
Browns. 

In browns we have umbers, sienna. Van Dyke brown and mineral 
brown, and these only are of interest to the house painter. Mineral 
brown, or metallic brown, as it is more familiarly known, is to a great 
extent used in the painting of roofs and for freight cars and similar 
work where decorative effects are not required. 

Suffice it to say that metallic brown in oil should be of good fineness, 
of good body and be ground in pure linseed oil to insure durability. A 
practical comparative test will be the best guide here. Burnt sienna 
IS usually selected by its rich tone as a glaze and superior tinting 



7S9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 307 

strength. When sienna shows up with a fiery transparency it gener- 
ally gives a clean tint with white, though not necessarily showing great 
strength. Raw sienna, though sometimes of a decidedly yellow color, 
may also be dealt with in this group. Like the burnt article, it should 
show good transparency and greater strength than the best ochre. 
Fineness of grinding is a requisite for siennas, because it brings out 
the transparent character of the material. 

Raw umber is best when of the olive tone, and in the absence of a 
reddish or distinctly yellow cast. Burnt umber should be a warm 
brown, and a slight reddish cast is preferable to a dull, blackish ap- 
pearance of the ^olid color. Umbers should be ground very fine and 
have considerable strength, as they, like sienna, are very useful for 
staining purposes, and tints made with them are very permanent. 

Vandyke brown is more useful in staining and graining than for 
tinting, where it is not as durable as the umbers or siennas. Fineness 
of grinding and staining power are important, as is also a good, rich 
tone. 

—736— 
Greens. 

Greens are next in order, and next to the reds there is quite a selec- 
tion, of which chrome greens are most notable. There are blue-toned 
chrome greens and yellow-toned chrome green, chemically pure 
chrome greens, and many are sold under fancy or proprietory brands or 
names. When they are chemically pure it is usually so stated on the 
label, but the commercial brands contain anywhere from 10 to 35 per 
cent, coloring matter, the balance being a mineral base of some kind, 
generally barytes. The generally adopted rule, however, appears to be 
to make them with from 25 to 30 per cent, coloring matter. As to se- 
lection of the proper tone, the judgment of the painter must decide 
whether the blueish or yellowish tone is best suited. Fineness of 
grinding, brightness of color and working properties should be con- 
sidwed, but as for value a test for tinting strength should determine ; 
however, comparisons should be made only between exactly similar 
shades and tones of chrome green, as it would be unfair to compare a 
light with a dark shade or a yellow-toned green with a bluish green. 
Emerald green, or as it is more familiarly known, Paris green, is very 
little used nowadays, excepting for ornamenting or for decorations in 
places where gaslight has a yellowing effect on chrome green. Its 
purity is best tested by extracting or removing the oil from the pig- 
ment with gasoline, and treating the pigment with aqua ammonia in 
a test tube, which will give a blue solution without any precipitate if 
the green is pure. 

Verona green or terra verte is not generally in use, and no simple 
test can be given. 

For verdigris the remarks apply that were made in reference to em- 
erald green. 

Bronze green, Quaker green and bottle green are combinations of 
blacky yellow and blue and no simple tests can be specified. 



3o8 7J9 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED, 

—737— 
Reds. 

The group of reds represents quite a variety of types. American 
vermilion is a chrome red, and though the least brilliant, it is, outside 
of a few products that have been developed only recently, the most 
durable of the vermilion group. When pure, it consists of lead chro- 
mate and white lead intimately combined, and a test of purity should 
be left to chemical science ; the painter may ascertain its value by com- 
paring the various brands for richness of tone and covering properties. 

Carmine and its substitutes should be tested for their value as glaz-" 
ing colors, for their brilliancy, clear transparency and their tinting 
strength. To ascertain purity of tint it is best to substitute French 
zinc white that has not been blued in place of white lead, and make 
the proportions not over 50 parts zinc white to one part of these reds. 
The substitutes offered for carmine are often as durable as the high- 
priced article itself, and sometimes more permanent. 

English or quicksilver vermilion is the red sulphide of mercury, and 
under certain conditions it will sooner or later turn into black sulphide 
of mercury. 

The pale shade is very unstaple, and when exposedto strong light it 
will, even when protected by varnish, turn brown in a few months, 
while the deep shade becomes very dark inside of six months, and 
often turns blackish inside of a year or so. To test for purity, heat a 
small portion over a gas jet or lamp in a porcelain dish in contact with 
air, and if pure there will be only a trac^ of ash left ; when adulterated 
with red lead, barytes, etc., these will be left behind. Indian red is 
usually to be had in two shades, light and dark, and the material is 
mostly imported from abroad. It is most too solid and strong a color 
when pure to be of use in the pure state for trim^ning, etc., and does 
not look well for that purpose, unless somewhat diluted with a mineral 
base, but makes an excellent covering material for ground work and 
has very strong staining properties, making strong pink effects with 
white. Should be tested for rich tone, fineness of grinding and tincto- 
rial strength. Red lakes are numerous, but the best of them are those 
derived from the madder root or its principal coloring matter, alizarine, 
which is now derived from coal tar, and has been proven to be even 
more staple in point of permanency than the coloring matter extracted 
from the madder plant, which is fast becoming obsolete. These lakes 
are usually branded with such prefixes as madder, permanent, durable, 
etc., and when well made do not belie their fancy title, because they 
are lime, alkali and light proof and can stand a great amount of heat 
up to 300 degs. F. without being visibly affected, and the test can be 
made on that plan, because aniline colors are unable to stand it. Rose 
lakes are usually made with aniline dyes on a mineral base, such as 
blanc fixe and alumina, and as a rule are rather fugitive, especially 
those that are most brilliant in color. Taste and judgment must guide 
the painter in their selection. 

Rose pink is a much needed oil color in the paint shop, and the 
painter will select the strongest tinter, as it is used for the preparation 
of stains, for graining and for making tints mostly. Red lead is best 
bought dry, unless the painter is in close proximity to the base of sup- 



729 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 309 

ply, and can have it ground to order, because of its drying action on 
linseed oil and consequent rapid saponification. To test for purity, 
place a little in a test tube, and boil with diluted nitric acid until de- 
composed ; if there be no insoluble precipiate the jtA lead is pure. As 
to its value, test in comparison with other brands for fineness and body, 
applying it after thinning to proper consistency on smooth, non-absorb- 
ent vertical surface, when it must not run or sag. Tuscan red is usually 
Indian red, brightened with rose pink or red lake. The cheaper grades 
are simply mixed and ground dry, while the better grades are made by 
the colormaker in a special process or by special methods. The latter 
are, therefore, more uniform and more staple, as all possible injurious 
matters are removed by washing. These better grades of Tuscan reds 
are not only richer, but are very permanent also, and will stand a very 
high degree of heat, as well as contact with alkalies and caustics. 

Tuscan reds should be tested for richness of tone, for tint and body, 
and should be compared as to the degrees of heat they are able to with- 
stand without perceptible change, which will give an idea as to their 
permanency on exposure to strong light. 

Venetian reds are either native reds or diluted oxide of iron, and 
there is no established standard for this material. Burnt ochres are 
also ground up ahd sold as Venetian red. English Venetian reds are 
still in favor, though the bulk of this material is now prepared in the 
United States and Canada. 

The color sold as Venetian red in oil contains anywhere from 15 to 
45 per cent, oxide of iron, the remainder consisting of silica, clay, terra 
alba or carbonate of lime, and some may have all of these combined, 
either as natural gangue or as a cheapening dilutant. Where Venetian 
red is to resist the action of sulphur gases it is best to select one that 
does not contain carbonate of lime (whiting, marble dust, etc.), and 
whether the red does contain such can be readily determined without 
extracting the oil. A little of the red is spread upon a dry slab of 
glass and a few drops of sulphuric acid diluted with a little water 
poured upon the color. When carbonate of lime is present in any form 
there will be effervescence in a few minutes, otherwise the material 
will show but little agitation and remain practically inert. 

The value of Venetian red is determined by its brightness, tone, fine- 
ness of grinding and comparative absorption of thinners. 

Vermilionettes or aniline vermilions are composed of red lead, or 
orange mineral enriched with the coal tar color known as eosine, and 
thousands of tons are used annually. The best of these are fleeting, 
turning to pink or white on long exposure to strong light. 

There are a few recent products on the market which bid fair to out- 
last aniline vermilion as well as quicksilver vermilions three to one, 
but they are not as rosy as the former, and not as opaque as the latter, 
thoughof greater spreading power. Practical tests and tests for per- 
manency only can determine the value of these materials, as tinting 
strength does not count here. This concludes the red group. 



Yellows. 

We now turn to the yellows, which will complete the list. Here we 
have first the chromes, which may be had in five or six shades, as 



3IO 739 PAINT QUESTIONS ANSWERED. 

canary, lemon, medium, orange, deep orange and even extra dark or- 
ange. They are so well known that it is sufficient to say that their 
value to the painter lies in their purity of tone and tinting strength. 

Permanent or perfect yellow is chromate of zinc, and much more 
permanent to strong light and gases than chrome yellow, but less 
opaque. It is too poor in body and too high priced for general use, 
and more adapted to the purpose of the decorator and signwriter. 

Ochres are a very interesting material for house painters, and there 
is a very large variety to select from. They run from palest French or 
yellow ochre to the deepest English Oxford and the most olive Ameri- 
can ochre. They are tested for fineness of grinding, opacity and tint- 
ing power. Golden ochres in oil are usually mixtures of yellow ochres 
of French origin and medium or orange chrome yellow, but are very 
often adulterated with cheap mineral bases ; therefore their value is de- 
termined by tests for brilliancy, fineness of grinding and tinting power. 
Our next chapter will deal with oils, driers and turpentine, etc. 



Thinners. 

One of the most important subjects to the painter is the testing of 
linseed oil, because, so far as we know, all arguments to the contrary 
notwithstanding, it is the life of all oil paints. When the oil in a paint 
has perished, it is only a question of a very short time for the pigment 
to crumble to pieces. Therefore, so long as we have nothing to take 
its place, we must look toward obtaining the best and purest linseed oil 
it is possible to purchase. A painter cannot always buy direct from 
reputable crushers for various reasons, and he should, therefore, post 
himself on simple tests. All that he requires is a few medicinal test 
tubes or four-ounce long, round bottles, a small bottle of nitric acid of 
140 specific gravity, which may be procured from any druggist. When 
a new lot of oil is received, it should be allowed to rest undisturbed